But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. (Exodus 40:37 NLT)
One important thing as a child of God we need to understand that we never become stronger to live without God’s guidance.
Every time we do things of our own ignoring God’s will we become vulnerable – yet, thanks to His mercy that come and find us!
Nevertheless, when we are in wilderness it is our responsibility to wait on God to tell if we make a move or not irrespective of comforts or discomforts we have in that place.
The wilderness seasons are not an exception that we can’t do what we want to do, but it’s a training ground to perfect and practice the fear of the Lord – only to keep it for the rest of our life!
Joseph and Daniel were brought into a foreign land each in their time as mere slaves when they were young and able – but both chose not to rebel in their wilderness season and waited upon God.
God, Who knew how and when to make the right move – one day, made them to become second-in-command in that foreign nations because they learnt to fear God and resolved in their hearts never to leave Him!
This is God’s plan for everyone who dare to persevere to do His will in their toughest time.
So, if the cloud doesn’t move you don’t move; when it moves you move. It’s that simple!
I am only a foreigner in the land. Don’t hide your commands from me! I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word. I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end. Psalm 119:19, 28, 30, 33
But when Pharaoh saw that relief had come, he became stubborn. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had predicted. (Exodus 8:15 NLT)
When God is determined to do something, He will never back off. Period. This is serious and every man has to understand that he can’t fool around but submit.
Just 2 or 3 unusual incidents are all needed to sense that we are not going in the right direction and it is time to stop, ponder and obey.
Exodus Pharaoh was an example that there are no human will that can be stronger than God’s will.
When God wants us to do His will, sometimes there is not much difference between stubbornness and negotiating with Him on what we can do.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control. Psalm 32:9
Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord . (Psalms 4:5 NLT)
Religious sacrifices are a self-deceptive idea to please God and to fool ourselves that we are now in right standing with God.
It is also a religious idea to offer God something because of a guilt from past or for a present need.
God pay no attention to our great sacrificial offerings and cries when we refuse to change our ways and surrender to His will. In other words, God is not for sale.
“What is more pleasing to the Lord : your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22 NLT)
I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people. Hebrew 8:10
Our thoughts and will make us to do anything it wanted – this is the reason we abruptly disobey, and find ourselves lacking self control and be a failure.
What if there is a total control on how we could think and willingness to do nothing but the righteousness!
There is only one thing that has such power to captivate human minds and turn the human hearts – it’s God’s Word!
The moment we allow this God’s control in our lives the fear of the Lord (obedience to Him) would become a delight and to seek God would become our earnest desire!
Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. Psalm 119:2
So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest. Hebrews 3:19
Slavery for the Israelites ended on Day-1 they got out of Egypt by the plan & power of God, but entering into rest required their total obedience and trust in God.
“Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your heart…” is the message/warning all along for the Israelites. God spoke to them all, they all heard him, but some hardened their hearts and perished in the wilderness.
God’s deliverance is not the real freedom. The real freedom comes as we obey after that deliverance. This is the rest God promised!
Such rest is a rest from bondages, fears, failures, poverty, sickness, emptiness, loneliness and death.
Jesus Christ thru’ His total obedience has bought this rest for us. Our only work to enter into this rest is to believe!
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. 2 Timothy 2:2
God’s word is meant to be a river of living water that constantly flows and never stops or get stagnated.
The true faithfulness to listening to God’s word is putting it into practice in one’s own life that compels others to ask how we do it. Then, teaching them to do it without holding back anything.
The one who wants to know will become the faithful to do it and teach it to others.
But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:25
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer” Psalm 91:14-15
Loving the Lord is making sacrificial decision to allow Him to keep us where He wants us, and doing what He called us to do.
Trusting the Lord is knowing that we can take the loss by obeying God but really we won’t lose it.
Such love and trust in God will demand God to do anything that is needed to be rescued and protected.
God owe to such love and trust!
“I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word.” Isaiah 66:2
Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. Psalm 86:11
Purity is being free from adulterated by anything that this corrupt world influence on us, and remaining the way God created us to be.
None of us were close to it, but the Pure from God – His Son Jesus Christ cleanses us from all adulteration and has the power to take our hearts to its utmost purity every time we allow His word to pierce our hearts!
Unlike we think a pure heart doesn’t look polished, rigid and vibrant but rather torn, broken and contrite by constant correction, self-denial and submission by the power of God’s Spoken Word.
Nothing honors God like these awful looking, amazing, pleasing hearts!
Now, let’s take a hard look on what type of teaching we inclined to – ear pleasing or heart pricking?
“If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses?
If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan? Jeremiah 12:5
There is none who can train like the Lord to the one who He has anointed, separated and appointed for His cause.
Such calling is great but the price is very steep!
Prophet Jeremiah in Old Testament had such calling. Apostle Paul in New Testament had such calling. These men were constantly picked up, constantly encouraged directly by The Lord Himself.
These men risked their lives, were often in near death, beaten brutally, went unconscious in dungeons, betrayed, mocked – all for one reason: they spoke what the Lord told them to speak without altering one word.
After all they went thru’, the normal human emotions expects pity, soothing words – but the Lord gave a pricking statement that made them to run far stronger than before!
What is this strange love for God! What is this extreme obedience for God!
Prophet Isaiah expressed it, our Lord Jesus exhibited it!
The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me, and I have listened. I have not rebelled or turned away.
I offered my back to those who beat me and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard. I did not hide my face from mockery and spitting. Isaiah 50:5-6
What excuse can we have for our disobedience to His word? How hard is it for us to obey compared with these extreme obedience these men had?
“Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns. Jeremiah 4:3
The first thing to prosper in our lives is our soul.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2
Soul is the one entrapped in lies, doubts, depression, jealousy, anger, lust or pride. Our will, emotions and thought process (intellect mind) which makes our soul is the breeding ground for all filthiness.
Can you imagine the freedom you can bring to yourself by freeing you from your self/soul!
Listening and putting God’s Word into practice is the real freedom. If we aren’t able to obey God’s spoken Word, we are not free.