Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It made no difference…they obeyed!


Numbers 9:18-23 The People of Israel marched at GOD's command and they camped at his command. As long as the Cloud was over The Dwelling, they camped. (19) Even when the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for many days, they honored GOD's command and wouldn't march. (20) They stayed in camp, obedient to GOD's command, as long as the Cloud was over The Dwelling, but the moment GOD issued orders they marched. (21) If the Cloud stayed only from sunset to daybreak and then lifted at daybreak, they marched. Night or day, it made no difference--when the Cloud lifted, they marched. (22) It made no difference whether the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for two days or a month or a year, as long as the Cloud was there, they were there. And when the Cloud went up, they got up and marched. (23) They camped at GOD's command and they marched at GOD's command. They lived obediently by GOD's orders as delivered by Moses.


A pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night guided and protected the Israelites as they traveled across the wilderness. Some have said this pillar may have been a burning bowl of pitch whose smoke was visible during the day and whose fire could be seen at night. However, a bowl of pitch would not have lifted itself up and moved ahead of the people, and the Bible is clear that the cloud and fire moved in accordance with the will of God. The cloud and the fire were not merely natural phenomena; they were the vehicle of God's presence and the visible evidence of his moving and directing his people.


How does this apply to me?

It made no difference how long the cloud stayed in one spot...when the cloud moved, they moved. When it stayed still, they stayed still. As long as the cloud was there, they were there. They simply obeyed God, regardless of how difficult obeying Him became...it made no difference. God had made it very clear that the cloud was created and directed by Him. It may stay for two days, a month, or a year but it made no difference. They were to follow the cloud. They were to follow God's Spirit. There are times that it is difficult to obey God's Word and direction. It is difficult to do the right thing when everyone around you seems to be doing the wrong thing. May it truly make no difference.

When the enemy is trying to convince me to compromise my convictions and beliefs because it would be so much easier to compromise...may it make no difference. I want to trust and obey, for there is truly no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. God promised to never put more on me than I could bear, but He said He will always make a way of escape for me. So, when I am tempted to just give up because I am discouraged or depressed, my commitment is that it makes no difference, I WILL press on, and I WILL continue to follow God's Word and His Spirit. Because it makes no difference, when God moves...I will move.


"Lord, I thank you for leading and guiding me every single day. I have days where I am so frustrated, disappointed, discouraged, it makes no difference, you are spurring me on. Your Word challenges me to "press on towards", which points towards the future, not the past. I must forget those failures, disappointments, hurts, offenses that are behind me, and press on forwards. I make a commitment today to follow you where ever and whenever you lead. I ask you to forgive me for the times that I have either gotten into too big of a hurry, or refused to go forward. I commit to trusting you, obeying you, and marching with you in spite of the difficulty that I am facing. May it truly make no difference...I will trust and obey...TODAY. I love you Lord, and thank you for your direction. In Jesus' name, amen!"


Pastor Rusty