“Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”
Exodus 40:34-38 NKJV
A cloud by day and a fire by night
It is important for the follower of Jesus to be aware of what the Lord is doing and where He is working, when seeking to serve Him. If one is spiritually attuned, those who are born again can discern the presence of the Lord in the situation, for they have spent much time reading the word of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is dangerous to attempt to go ahead of what He is doing, for one has sought to lead God, rather than be led.
Reading Exodus again this morning, I happened on what at first glance seems insignificant. But I have learned that there is nothing in the word of God that is there by accident, nor insignificant. The children of Israel were not wanderers through the wilderness, but those led by the presence of the Lord. They had a pillar of fire by night, and cloud by day. This christophany, or foreshadowing of per-incarnate Christ, was their guide.
When the cloud settled on the tabernacle of meeting, they stayed put, when it lifted, they journeyed, being careful to keep it in their sight. They also watched Moses, for he was their mediator, given by God to lead them to the promised land.
We who are the followers of God according to the New Covenant, grafted in through the blood of Jesus, have been given a more sure guide in ascertaining the will of God. We do not have the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, but we have the Holy Spirit, always present, God in us.
When the Lord Jesus was to leave the disciples, He told them of the Helper who would be sent to them to guide them an d be with them forever.
““If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
John 14:15-18 NKJV
The Helper, the Holy Spirit is our constant guide in our own journey, as we too are traveling through perilous parts, on our way to a promised land, one where we fight enemies both real and spiritual. In our journey, those who stand against us, are also those the Lord desires to save.
It is good that we have our zHelper walking before us, whispering into our hearts, and illuminating the word of God in our in our minds. Jesus assured HIs disciples and us, that He will always be with us, guiding us, just as He guided the children of Israel in the wilderness.
““These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.”
John 14:25-28 NKJV
The children of Israel gained confidence in their ability to see the cloud and the fire, let us be also confident as we sense the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. His presence is marked by the fruit of the Spirit. The more we walk in Him, the more we feel His presence.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV
I can attest to the peace of God, for my life has been filled with strife, but through every painful step, He has been with me. He has been my cloud in the day, and my guiding fire at night. His word has lit my path, and His Holy Spirit has been dear to me when many others have all but abandoned me.
Brothers and sisters, let keep our eyes on the cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, being sensitive to the leadings of the Holy Spirit. Let us deal with the things that inhibit us from hearing the soft whispers of God.
Let us repent of the besetting sins, the thoughts and feelings that are contrary to God, and let us spend more time reading that wonderful love letter that the Lord has given us called the Bible.
Let us be quick to obey when the Lord says go, and when He says stay.
Let us also be bold to go out and fulfill the ministry the Lord has given us:
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
He is with us always, even to the end of age…which is now in sight.
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