Be thou there, until I bring thee word.”
All our movements, meeting and motives should be under the direction of God. All our risings and sleepings – all our actions and attitudes. In days gone by God guided His people Israel with pillars of fire and cloud. They rose and moved, followed, halted and struck camp as God showed the way.
But God no longer leads His people with fire and cloudy pillars. Today we have fuller revelation and such signs and wonders have been replaced. Today there is no need for such visible tokens of guidance – for we have the indwelling Spirit. Today we live by faith in Him. We live by faith alone, and not by sight or signs. Our faith comes by hearing and not vision or supernatural phenomena: Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God – and yet today God’s leadings are no less real and His direction no less unmistakable.
Sometimes we are faced with deep doubt, distrust or disbelief. Sometimes we pass through seasons of pain and our hearts almost faint. Sometimes we simply wonder where God is as trials and difficulties mount up – but He is as close to us today as those times when He led with mighty visible signs.
It is His Word of truth and not our own clamourings that will guide us in the way we take, and it is His indwelling Spirit of Truth and not visible sight that will guide us into all truth – “he who has ears to hear – let him hear what the Spirit says:… Rev.2:29 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying: “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
It is His Word that will confirm His promises to our listening heart. It is His indwelling Spirit Who will prompt, this is the way, walk in it. He brought His people to the brink of deep despair by the bitter waters of Marah – and then made them sweet with the Branch of a Tree.
In bygone days God lead His people with visible signs and they saw with their eyes. He took them through the parched wilderness and gave them water from the rock. Today the Lord Jesus is the living Water that is poured into our hearts by faith – and today He is the Rock of our salvation, from Whose side poured blood and water.
Moses had to keep his arms up-stretched all day to defeat malicious Amalek – today we put on the armour of God to withstand the enemy that seeks to destroy. In days gone by the foe was defeated with sling and stone, sword and trumpet – today the weapons we use in our fight are not made by human hands, but powerful weapons from God. and with them we destroy people’s defences – that is, their arguments.
The people of Israel marched around the walls of Jericho to gain victory – today we march a seventh time around the city gate of our spiritual Jericho. The earthly walk of Israel is given to demonstrate what we face in the spiritual – both are used by God to draw to Him – to teach us to trust in His strong arms of love.
He will lead us safely through our own valley of darkness that looms ahead. He has promised to keep our steps from slipping and our foot from stumbling. It is a child-like trust in a heavenly Father’s goodness, that He desired then, and it is a simple child-like faith in His Word that He wants from us today, for without faith it is impossible to please God Heb.11:6
There is a God in heaven and He is our heavenly Father. There is a Man in heaven and He is our heavenly Saviour – He neither slumbers nor sleeps but holds the rein of the universe in His hand. But if necessary He will push us, like Israel, to the last gasp or our extremity… to teach us to trust Him in all our movements, meetings and motives… to train us to submit in our risings and sleepings – our actions and attitudes – until in all things, He alone is our guard and guide.
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