“And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents.”
The leading of the LORD seemed to be a very easy concept that Israel should have understood. God said that He would lead them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. God said that when the cloud was lifted that they were to journey to wherever it led them, and when the cloud lowered they were to stay still. However, it seemed that Israel struggled with the LORD’s leading several times before they got to the Promised Land.
As easy as it may seem to criticize Israel for complaining about the LORD’s leading, many, if not all believers, seem to fall into the same trap at different times in their lives. We tend to think that the LORD’s leading will be easy and blessed, but when you look at where the LORD led Israel, you will soon come to the realization that the LORD’s leading is not always pleasant. Let me share several thoughts about the LORD’s leading in your life that will help you in your Christian walk.
First, you will never find the LORD’s leading without a daily walk with God. There were times when the cloud abode upon the tabernacle, and it was in the tabernacle where the ark abode. Most of what people call God’s leading is nothing more than a mere feeling rather than an absolute principle that is found in God’s Word. You can say that you want the LORD to lead you, but you must ask yourself how much time have you spent in God’s Word before you say that He is leading you. You will find that God leads the believer through His Word and in their time of prayer. If you don’t have a daily walk with God, you are probably not following the LORD’s leading.
Second, the LORD’s leading is found by going to church. The tabernacle was also the place where Israel came to be taught God’s Word from Moses. You will find it hard to find the LORD’s leading in your life if you are not faithful to church. The sermons your pastor preaches are often the very key you will need to determine God’s leading in your life.
Third, God’s leading often leads to a place of lack or struggle. When you look at where the cloud of the LORD led Israel, you will see that it led them to barren places of no food or water. Why did God lead them to these places? He led them to these places because He wanted to teach them to trust Him. God often leads the believer into barren times to teach them how to trust Him so they can learn that His power is sufficient. You don’t learn about God’s power in times of blessing, but you learn about His power in times of need. The power of God is always revealed in the barren and stormy times of life. Instead of complaining about what you don’t have, you ought to praise God that He is about to reveal His power to you.
Fourth, God’s leading often allows you only to see God. When the cloud lowered, they could not see far ahead; rather, all they could see was the cloud. If the only thing the LORD’s leading does for you is to keep your eyes on the LORD, you will find that it is sufficient for you to follow. Stop complaining about not seeing tomorrow and enjoy the presence of God in your life. As long as you follow the presence of God, you will be secure that He will lead you into the right places tomorrow.