Don’t Be Discouraged When the Cloud Doesn’t Move

I’ve come to Numbers 9 in my morning devotions, and I’ve been impressed by how confidently God guides us.  For the Israelites, His guidance took visible form in the mysterious cloud, which at night turned to fire.  Whenever this cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; whenever it settled, the Israelites camped.  When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s order and did not set out.  Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; sometimes only one night; sometimes a year.  But whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out.  Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would camp; when the cloud moved, they moved.

Both our steps and our stops are ordered by the Lord.  He goes before us, yet stays with us.  Knowing the future, He can guide from day to day.  We no longer have His visible cloud above us, for we have His invisible Spirit within us and His infallible Word in our hands.  We have His providential ordering of our circumstances, and His promise to direct us in all our ways.

If we seem “stuck” for the moment, even if it appears to be for a prolonged period, we’re better off to remain stuck in God’s will than to wander off on our own.  Sometimes we can make a lot of progress when we’re standing still, though it doesn’t appear so at the time.

If as best you can determine, you’re in God’s will, don’t worry about the pace of things.  Just enjoy one day at a time, and let Him lead you step by step according to His divine agenda.  The Lord knows the way through the wilderness.

PS – If you’re in the Jackson, Mississippi area, I’m speaking Thursday night at an event at a local college, then Friday night and all day Sunday at Jackson’s First Baptist Church.  I’d love to see you there.