The life of a follower of Christ has often been described as a pilgrimage of faith. Like the Israelites before us who journeyed from slavery in Egypt to their arrival into the promised land, our journey, like theirs is a journey of faith. This journey is filled with mountains and valleys, achievements and failures. If we are to get where we are going in life, this pilgrimage must be directed by God, both verbally and visually. That is seen in Numbers 9 in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
God's presence was seen by the Israelites every day because He chose to be with them everyday (Numbers 9:16). God is able to do the same for you and me as well, WHEN our heart is His house.
In Numbers 9:13-23, when the cloud or the fire moved, the people moved. There were times when the Israelites remained at a certain place along the journey for several days and there were other occasions when they were encamped for only a day or a part of a day (Numbers 9:21).
What may we learn from such patterns of progress? At least this, if you desire to get where you are going in life and discover God's best, you will need to move when He moves regardless of how it fits your schedule or mine. Faith in following His command to camp or to continue remains the only way to reach the destination of His promise in John 10:10b that says, "I (Jesus) have come that you might have life and that you may have it more abundantly."
By the way, God's promise of abundant life is not something we enjoy after we die and cross over into glory. God's promise of abundant life in Christ is something we experience as we are willing to follow His commands in the present. We don't have to wait to cross over Jordan into the daily provisions of His promise. This is something we should enjoy everyday! 'Crossing over Jordan' to experience His abundance in life is available today. It's now, in the present because He is present in us! His abundance is not measured in the overflow of stuff that we have to pay to store. The abundance of God's promises for His own is measured in the overflow of being filled with His Spirit and enjoying His provision and His peace today. God's presence in us produces peace that flows out of His promise to provide all we need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). If you are reading this, you are either living under the weight of the world system (Egypt) in bondage to the slavery it produces OR you are in the place promised that comes through following the commands of the Lord. If you are not living in either of those, you are somewhere in between, just wandering in the wilderness and dying a little everyday along the way. That is what Israel experienced as a consequence of their willful disobedience to embrace what God promised to provide through faith at Kadesh Barnea (Numbers 13:25-33). If you find yourself under the demands of the hard taskmaster of sin, then by faith you must apply the blood of God's sacrifice, Jesus to be delivered from the hardship of sin and the death that surely follows (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8). Following the command of the Lord to place the blood that atones for sin over the door of your heart delivers you and me from death (Exodus 12:1-7; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 5:8; 21) once for all time (Hebrews 10:14). If you find yourself wandering in the wilderness of faithlessness where the death of something important is a constant reminder of prior disobedience, then you may change course through following the commands of Christ to trust Him in everything and for everything. You don't need to wander in the desert of disobedience until you die as the older generation of Israel did (Numbers 14:26-38). The journey of joy in the Lord can only be experienced as you and I are willing to follow the Lord where He leads and as He leads. Joy and peace have nothing to do with a destination we arrive at. Joy and peace are the outflow of a genuine desire to walk through life with the One who provides both for us and does so exceedingly and abundantly beyond what we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
God has promised to provide for those who follow His direction and obey His commands. Are you proving His promise faithful everyday?
With joy for the journey,