02/26/18 Waiting on the Lord

READING: Numbers 6-9

“At the command of the Lord they camped . . .”

Numbers 9:23

Sometimes the Word of God seems to leap off the page to help you see yourself. It’s a mirror that reveals our reality – not always what we want to see. It stings at times, but it always shows us exactly what we need to see. Today is one of those days for me.

In a heart-stopping, miraculous, amazing way, God made His presence known to the Hebrews by residing over the tabernacle in a cloud by day and a fire by night. Continually, He let them know He was with them. Moreover – and this is the message that most hits me today – they were to move only when the cloud moved: “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” (Num. 9:17). They were to be ready to go – or to stay – at God’s command.

Sometimes they were to wait for a short time, and sometimes they remained where they were for a long time: “Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out” (Num. 9:22). For impatient people like I am, this verse stretches me. Every day, they were to get up, seek God, and follow Him. They didn’t know how long they would stay, but they did know they were to follow Him. They were to live in a sense of “patient urgency,” always ready to move at God’s command but comfortable in staying where they were for that day if such were God’s command. 

I fear that I have at times moved ahead of God’s cloud, and my impatience has cost me. I also fear that my struggle with waiting and my tendency to be action-oriented make me still vulnerable to this temptation. I need to write these words across my heart and mind: “At the command of the LORD they camped, and at the command of the LORD they set out” (Num. 9:23), remembering that it’s the command of the Lord that matters.

ACTION STEPS:

  • Continually monitor your heart for impatience today.
  • Also continually monitor your heart for stubbornness that limits your willingness to follow God today.

PRAYER: “Lord, I want to follow You and only You. Not my hopes or desires. Help me.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Numbers 10-13, Psalm 90