“Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out.”
This verse is reminiscent of Moses’ words to the Lord that if His presence would not go with the Israelites, Moses did not want to move forward (Exodus 33:15). A declaration not to move without Him. Clear, intentional waiting on the Lord. Alert and watchful to move when He does.
There are so many times when I would love a visual demonstration like this to make it clear to me what the best path is. Not only knowing which direction to go, but knowing when to wait and when to move. Tangible assurance that the waiting isn’t actually a part of me that’s stalling or questioning unnecessarily.
“For your name’s sake you lead me and guide me” (Psalm 31:3). It is for the sake of His name that the Lord leads us and does so clearly. His leading might not look the same for me as it does for you, but that is just evidence of His intentionality to lead in exactly the way we need as someone He knit together. With all our details. With the way we can personally recognize His guidance and in the way He needs to work on us to bring us closer to Himself. He leads us for His name’s sake, because in doing so He demonstrates to us and others who will see it that He is faithful, wise, and good. That He is perfect in His plans and timing and He is mighty to fulfill His purposes.
In our waiting, and in our confusion at times, our task is to clear the pathway. Prepare the way of the Lord within our heart and life. Remove any obstacle that might hinder our ability to hear and recognize His leading.
Like sin. Or fear. Doubt. Insecurity. Impatience. Pride. Desire for control. Perhaps a longing in our heart that feels stronger than our desire for His will. Maybe even resentment that things haven’t worked out the way we hoped.
All of these things create noise and complication. Oh, may the Lord help us to see them.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24)
“You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, LORD, do I seek.’” (Psalm 27:8)
May the Spirit reveal to each of us the noise that distracts us from our Lord. Jesus told His closest disciples it was better for Him to leave so the Spirit would come (John 16:7). Conveying that His presence within us is of great value.
Let us not get ahead of ourselves. Ahead of Him. Because if God’s presence is continuing in a certain place, abiding there, it means there are things He still has for us in that place. And I don’t want to miss that. I don’t think you do either. Because what He has for us is important. And our life will be more joy-filled, more glory-filled, if we will wait on Him and clear our eyes and ears to make sure we move when He does.
Calm our anxious hearts, Lord, from the noise around and within us. May we calm and quiet our souls to rest in Your presence and trust in Your leading. To trust that You will lead and will do so clearly; we simply need to make sure we are watching and listening for it. Ready to move when You do.
“O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore.”
“For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel,
‘In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’…
Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.”
“And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’
when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”