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Following the cloud........

The Vineyard

Dear Friends,

I was reading in the book of Numbers recently about the Israelites in the wilderness with Moses. The bible says that from time to time God wanted them to move from where they were, to a new location—and for no apparent reason. But the Israelites packed up and moved each time the cloud moved. Sometimes they stayed in the same place one day, and at other times it might have been weeks: but they were ready to move as God moved.

We often focus on how stubborn and rebellious the Israelites were, but they were commonly obedient. How many of us are willing to pull up our “tent stakes” and familiar connections, leave our comfortable and known environment, and enter into “who knows what” when God’s cloud leads over the horizon.

Imagine living your life where every morning you would not know what to plan for? Imagine NOT being in the driver’s seat in regard to your destiny, where you will live, who will be your neighbors, what path to take to the next destination! And now, imagine that this is how God wants us to live!

Am I following the cloud by day and the column of fire by night? Would I follow Him if I could see those symbols of His presence??

Is His church—not the building—but the body of believers following Him or putting tent stakes into concrete? What if following the cloud meant changing our focus, or doing something brand new or taking an unknown path??

Do I plant roots too deep? It’s so common to our nature to want to put down roots and stay put, but children of God —those redeemed by blood—-have been purchased and redeemed for the purpose of being of use to God is His work. He might allow us to stay where we are a long time—perhaps our entire lives—but there’s always a need to be ready go—-just like Abraham did when God told him to pack up and move—-and straightway Abraham did just as he was instructed.

Does what He tell us to do have to “make sense” if we are going to obey ….or are we prepared to blindly and boldly follow him—-even if it appears totally nuts? He did not “make sense” to the Israelites or Abraham or the early church apostles—-but they obeyed.

And do we have to see the “end game” if we respond to His directives? It’s a bit disappointing to have to say it, but quite often a faithful follower never sees the benefits our obedience lends to the Kingdom for what we have done. The Billy Grahams are the exception—they saw, first hand, how their faithfulness blessed God. And yet…….how blessed to be trusted by God to be faithful to Him when we are fully aware that we will probably NOT see the spiritual fruit of our labors.

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