Thursday, September 01, 2011

Divine GPS

"Pillar of fire" by Paul Hardy

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Exodus 13:1-22

TO CHEW ON: "And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead then along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night." Exodus 3:21

Can you imagine the exuberant chaos of the Israelites as they left Canaan, a ragtag multitude of adults and children, sheep and goats, laden down (humans and animals) with the stuff they needed for living—clothing, tents, water, food, even bowls of unbaked dough for the coming day's bread? But after the first hours of walking, I can just see them (especially the like-to-know-how-this-is-going-to-work types, like I am) beginning to grasp the grim reality of their situation.

Which route would they take? How would they stand the heat of desert travel? What if they got attacked by desert tribes or surrounding nations? Where would they find food for such a multitude, not to speak of water?

God had an answer for each desert-travel challenge. The trouble was that He didn't reveal His plan beforehand but supplied the answer in His good time. Our reading today describes the divine GPS He gave them. The cloud by day, pillar of fire by night not only pointed out their route, but because it was visible by night, allowed them to travel during the cooler hours of darkness.

I believe we can look to God for such direction and provision in our lives too. It will probably not be in as visible a way as a cloud directing our route, but God will send what we need, of signposts and resources and stamina and courage. Sure we'd like to see all these things listed like a travel itinerary before we set out. However, like the Israelites we too will need to have faith as He unveils His route and provision one item at a time as needed.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to trust You for direction and resources for my life journey, and for specific stretches of that journey through times of family and church crises, career changes, illnesses and many other challenges. Amen

MORE: Oswald Chambers on Guidance
There are times when you cannot understand why you cannot do what you want to do. When God brings the blank space, see that you do not fill it in, but wait. The blank space may come in order to teach you what sanctification means, or it may come after sanctification to teach you what service means. Never run before God's guidance. If there is the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt—don't" (My Utmost for His Highest, January 4th reading).

"If we are saved and sanctified God guides us by our ordinary choices, and if we are going to choose what He does not want, He will check, and we must heed. Whenever there is doubt, stop at once. Never reason it out and say—'I wonder why I shouldn't?' God instructs us in what we choose, that is, He guides our common sense, and we no longer hinder His Spirit by continually saying—'Now Lord, what is Thy will?'" (June 3 reading).

"We have to be so one with God that we do not continually need to ask for guidance. Sanctification means that we are made the children of God, and the natural life of a child is obedience—until he wishes to be disobedient, then instantly there is the intuitive jar. In the spiritual domain the intuitive jar is the monition of the Spirit of God" (November 14th reading).

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  1. Violet: in our changing with a huge move, it is comforting to read and remember God's guidance to the children of Israel...indeed, when we are patient and wait ( 5 years is sometimes not long enough) for our desires that are according to His will, things happen fast enough to make you reel dizzily!! God is GOOD


  2. You two have been much on my mind. So glad the dizzy move is a good one!


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