Our love for the Lord is revealed by how obediently we follow Him. The Israelites had been given clear, simple instructions for following the Lord in the wilderness.
Num. 9:15-23 “And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning.”
1. They had to be ready to move when God decided it was time.
“So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. 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.”
2. They understood that following was an expression of obedience.
“At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents. And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and journeyed not. And so it was, when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the LORD they abode in their tents, and according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed.”
3. At times they had to be patient and wait upon the Lord.
“And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed. Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed.”
4. Sometimes obedience involves resting.
“At the commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.”
LESSON - “Follow”ship really is a matter of control. Until we arrive at the place where we are allowing God to make our decisions, we will never know what it means to fully be followers of Jesus Christ. Like the Israelites, we cannot be so ingrained with our plans that we are unwilling to move when God says move. If we fail to move when we have received clear directions from God, we are disobedient until we follow Him. Sometimes it will require that we wait upon the Lord and rest during that time of waiting. Remember, moving ahead of God is equally disobedient but can also be very dangerous. Stay close to the Lord through His word and you will always know what to do and when to do it!