Cloud by Day and Fire by Night

I just love the way God works and speaks.  Last month in my post Ruth & Naomi I wrote about the Bible Study, Ruth by Kelly Minter, that I’m doing with several of my friends.  As of today, we’re past the halfway point and I love every minute of it, especially the time I get to spend in God’s word and the fellowship.  Anyway, Day 4 of Session 4 speaks of Ruth’s arrival at the threshing floor.  [No, I’m not giving away the details of the lesson, this way you can discover the treasure that is in store for you if you decided to do the study, which I highly recommend.]  I will tell you though, that it concerns – dare I say it – PATIENCE!  This comes at a time when I’ve been thinking about God’s will for my life and what the next part of my journey will be.

With that said, I do not find it to be a coincidence that Pastor has been teaching about the will of God (as part of his maturing spiritually series), Patience, and Perseverance at church on Wednesday nights.  How my mind ended up thinking about the Israelites, I’ll never know but somehow I started thinking about how they spent 40 years walking around the wilderness.  Talk about Patience and Perseverance (I think more patience on God’s part than theirs.)  How they would pack up, put down – move wherever God told them to move (check out the story, if you don’t know it already, starting in the Book Exodus and ending in the Book of Joshua).  (If you’ve ever moved or changed jobs, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.)

As I think about Ruth and the Israelites, I realize that they experienced God’s direction for their lives in a similar way.  Naomi and Boaz guided Ruth; Moses guided the Israelites.  Nevertheless, both Ruth and the Israelites had to wait for instructions from the Lord to know what to do.  However, the Israelites had something extra to guide them that we don’t see in the story of Ruth – A Cloud by day and Fire by night. 

I will never understand how God works but I love the way He works. 

But why A Cloud and Fire?  This is not the first time that the Israelites had seen the Cloud and Fire.  Remember their exodus from Egypt when God guided them to the Red Sea (Exodus 13:21-22).  This time they followed the Cloud and Fire, which told them when to pack up and move or to put down and settle (Numbers 9:15-22), throughout their time in the wilderness. 

Now you’re probably wondering – how does this fit in with knowing what the will of God is for my life?  Don’t worry; I thought the same thing too.

Throughout my journey of Following Jesus 2 Serve Jesus, it has involved not only Patience and Perseverance, but also knowing what direction He wants to take me.  {I just wish (at times) that knowing when to move and when to stay was as easy as watching the Cloud and Fire.}  Ah, but it is!  We are to settle when He says settle and move when He says move.  It’s that simple.  But wait a minute!  I don’t see a cloud or fire – How do I know when it’s time to settle or when it’s time to move. 

God has provided us with the Cloud and Fire for our Tabernacle/Temple – it’s called the Holy Spirit.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:16 – “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” I believe the Holy Spirit – as the Cloud – provides for us during those times of settling:  shade/a covering, refuge, healing, instructions, and reassurance.  I also believe the Holy Spirit – as the Fire – provides for us during those times of moving:  the light for our path, the passion and strength to move on, and the refining of our hearts.  The Holy Spirit (the Cloud by Day and Fire by Night) tells us when to move on and when to settle.

Learning how to recognize whether the Cloud or the Fire has settled or lifted to be able to follow it (Numbers 9:17-18) comes from studying God’s Word, praying, and having that intimate relationship with Him.  Sometimes Pastors, friends, circumstances can help guide us as well (remember Ruth and the Israelites?).  So, as I Follow 2 Serve, I’m not afraid to ask Him – What am I to do?  Do I change jobs?  Do I need to volunteer for a different organization?  Do I move to another city?  Or, do I stay put and settle where I’m at and for how long?  The questions can be as simple as – What church do I attend?  Which classes do I take next semester?  Whom do You want me to visit or call today?  Where do You want me to go and How do you want me to Serve You?

Whatever the question, each time He is and will be faithful to answer, though sometimes it requires [PATIENCE], and if I’m listening, I’ll do the right thing.




About Follow 2 Serve {Lorna}

I am a follower of Christ and I love to serve Him. I am married with two sons. I received my Liberal Arts Associate Degree in May of 2012. My hobbies are reading, crocheting, quilting, knitting, nature photography, and being with my sons.
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6 Responses to Cloud by Day and Fire by Night

  1. Elizabeth Bailes says:

    Wow, this is the best post yet Lorna. It is so easy to follow to serve if we just listen. I have sent this blog on to another friend in Mississippi. Linda and I grew up together and I know she will love this blog. Love you, my friend, keep following to serve, ee

    • Thanks Elizabeth! Sometimes I have a hard time hearing Him because I’ve put “ear plugs” in my ears. Other times, I’m just being rebellious and not wanting to do what He tells me to do. My prayer is that I’ll be able to recognize when He’s speaking and when it’s my “flesh” wanting to do something and to be obedient in what He says to do. – Lorna.

  2. Ginger says:

    What a great word and timely message.
    Thanks Lorna!

  3. Rebecca Walding says:

    I so love how God works….thanks for your obedience and thank you Jesus for the confirmation!!!

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