Follow the Cloud!

February 8, 2004

FOLLOW THE CLOUD! by Ray Pritchard “So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels” (Exodus 40:38). The cloud and the fire represented the very presence of God. They weren’t just symbols; they represented God’s presence with his people. Do you know what that means? If the cloud went north and you went south, you were soon going to get in trouble. If the cloud started moving and your family didn’t follow, you would be separated from the presence of God. And the only thing you could do is turn around and start following the cloud again. That leads us to a very important conclusion: God’s will is a relationship, not a location. It is not a question of where you should go or what you should do. Knowing the will of God is not primarily about who you should marry or when you should get married. It’s not about taking this job or that job or how many kids you should have or where should you go to school or should you be a missionary or not. Those are secondary questions. The primary question is this: Are you willing to stay close to God and follow wherever he leads you? It’s a spiritual question. When we say to God, “Show me what to do,” the Lord says, “Stay close to me.” We cry out to the heavens, “I’m scared.” God says, “Follow me.” We say, “Oh, God, give me some answers.” And God says, “Give me your heart.” That’s why Numbers 9:23 says, “At the LORD’S command they encamped, and at the LORD’S command they set out.” If you will do the same thing, God will guide you. If the Lord says stop, you stop. If the Lord says go, you go. He will guide you. The only way to hear God’s voice is to stay close to him. It is a moral and spiritual issue. Are you willing to go when he says “Go,” and are you willing to stop when he says “Stop?” If the answer is yes, then you can rest assured that God will guide you exactly where he wants you to go. The secret of knowing God’s will is the secret of knowing God, and as you get to know God better, he will reveal his will to you. What does that mean for our decision-making? I think it means that when you need to know, you will know. If God is God, and if you are committed to knowing him, staying close to him, and doing his will, then the ultimate responsibility rests on him to make his will clear to you. The issue is not mystical superstition. The issue is: Are you ready to follow God? If the answer is yes, then you may be certain that all your questions about guidance will eventually be answered.

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