PREPARING FOR THE JOURNEY
Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC
Numbers 9:15-17 (ESV)
15 On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. 16 So it was always: the cloud covered it by day[ and the appearance of fire by night. 17 And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped.
If you’ve ever moved your household, you know it takes A LOT of preparation. A lot of work goes into moving my family of five from one location to another. Perhaps you can relate…whether planning for one person or many, even a quick get-away or vacation takes coordination! Can you imagine moving over a million people? What about on a journey that took not hours, but years to complete? How many impatient voices must have cried out, “Are we there yet?”
After camping out at Mount Sinai for a year after God delivered them from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites were finally ready to set out for the Promised Land. What took so long? God had to first prepare them for the journey. God had spent the last year raising up leaders and equipping the faithless group to live set apart unto Him. Now it was time to break camp and move.
Oh how we underestimate the importance of the time God uses to equip us before we set out! Grouped by their family ancestry, a census was taken of all men twenty years or older with the ability to go to war. The total number was 603, 550 (Numbers 1:46), and that number didn’t even count the Levites, or any of the women and children or the elderly! Each family clan was assigned specific duties, and the Tabernacle was made ready for daily use and transport.
God not only shows us the way, He prepares us for the journey. Has God stirred your heart to journey with Him lately? Whether you are scared to say yes to the adventure, or whether you are growing restless to “break camp,” be encouraged to listen, learn, and lean in to God. No day of waiting is wasted! Perhaps our question to God today should not only be “where do you want to lead me,” but also “what do you want me to learn and do right where I am?”
As a Child of God, our response should always be to follow God’s call, but we can’t get ahead of Him. God led the Israelites in a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night and they traveled as God led them. Sometimes I find myself wishing for signs that obvious. But believers, we have something even better…we have the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit! The Lord will lead each and every one of His children and prepare us for every task ahead with every bit as much of His presence. Clarity comes through our daily walk with the Lord.
We are just as stubborn and rebellious as the Israelites were at times in their journey, and sometimes we get off track too and have to wander in the wilderness, but daily spending time in prayer and in God’s Word conditions us to discern God’s leading and instruction. In every area that you are following God today, trust that He is equipping you and preparing the way-trust Him with the journey!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, help me to follow Your lead. Give me boldness to be a servant who says “yes” when you call. Forgive my laziness and my impatient responses to your timing. Lead me to seek your peace in the waiting, and to listen to the Holy Spirit instead. Help me trust You with every journey’s beginning, middle, and end. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God