02/25/17 The Cloud Lingered

READING: Numbers 9-11, Mark 5:1-20

“At the command of the Lord . . .”

Numbers 9:23

Most of us can talk about decisions we made and directions we took that simply were not following the Lord. I wish we could all look back and say that we took every correct turn, did not miss any road, and have smoothly arrived at the place where we are today – but our stories are seldom that simple. Or, at least I know mine isn’t.

When I review the many mistakes I’ve made, I’ve found common patterns in my decision-making processes. Sometimes I’ve been too impatient, hastily pushing ahead even while trying to convince myself it was the Lord’s will. In other cases, my fear of change has caused me to move too slowly. I had a sense of what God wanted, but I asked for more and more signs of proof before taking any next steps. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve had times in my spiritual walk when I determined what I wanted and then sought the Lord’s approval. Yes, sometimes I’ve followed my will rather than God’s will.

The one consistency I’ve found in my mistakes, though, is that I did not always lock my eyes on God for His direction and guidance. Put my eyes on myself and my desires, and I headed for trouble. I look back now and deeply wish that I could say I followed God like the Hebrews followed the cloud of God’s presence (at least on their good days . . .): “Whether it was two days, a month, or longer, the Israelites camped and did not set out as long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle. But when it was lifted, they set out. They camped at the Lord’s command, and they set out at the Lord’s command” (Num. 9:22-23). Following the Lord’s command is always, always, always, always the best route.

Of course, today’s reading also reminds us that the same people who follow God’s leading today can be complaining about His leadership tomorrow.  May God help us to trust Him and follow Him every day wherever His cloud takes us. 


  • Thank God for His continual care even when you’ve moved in the wrong directions in the past.
  • If you are not following God today, turn back to Him.

PRAYER: “God, I praise You for Your care and guidance. Forgive me for not always following You.”

TOMORROW'S READING: Numbers 12-14, Mark 5:21-43