Clouds intrigue me. They rise high above the earth as well as settle upon the hills. These white whisps in the air display jagged edges, uneven perimeters, and variations in color and transparency. Shapes and sizes of clouds evoke the imagination, memories, and parallels with life’s journey.
Clouds offer metaphors for spiritual awareness. Just as clouds float through the air, so too can we use our minds to float through our day to notice the movement of God. These poofs in the air move in the atmosphere and can encourage sojourners to notice the expansive movement of God within the soul and around the world.
Like clouds floating through the atmosphere, notice the movement of God within your life. Just notice. Pay attention without judgement or commentary. See the motion of God in your day.
This fall I am digging into the book of Numbers in the Bible. Perhaps you wonder, why Numbers? The title of the study is called, “With us in the Wilderness” by Lauren Chandler. When a friend invited me to join her in the study, the title seemed to resonate with my soul. Through the study we will journey with Israel into and through the wilderness learning from their rebellious fickle behavior and the faithful merciful character of God.
What are you studying in the Word? How does the Spirit invite you to grow through Scripture? What are you learning?
I find myself ruminating over the later verses of Numbers 9. In these verses we read of the presence of God within a cloud. The cloud of God’s presence descended upon the tabernacle, which was located in the middle of the camp. God’s holy presence was at the center of Israel’s very existence.
God made His presence visible in the disorientation of the wilderness. When the cloud remained over the tabernacle, the Israelites settled in the land. But, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, the Israelites set out following the cloud until it stopped. At the Lord’s command the Israelites encamped and at the Lord’s command they set out. The cloud reflected the constant presence of God and led the nation of Israel in the wilderness.
Who or what commands and leads you? Where do you look for help? Honestly reflect for a moment.
I love the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 121:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Our help comes from the Lord. He always attends to His creation. The watchful gaze of God remains actively fixed upon you and me. This offers comfort and peace to our journey through life.
Nevertheless, as I read Numbers 9 I noticed anxiety and uncertainty within my soul. I tried to identify with the Israelites. I wondered about the cloud of God. It could move at any time which felt unsettling and unpredictable. Numbers 9:22 says: “Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.” Israel had to depend on God to offer direction. Their eyes watched the cloud of God and their hearts trusted in Him to lead them.
As I pondered these verses, I sensed the Lord urging me to trust the certainty of God in the uncertainty of life. God’s presence is certain. When I feel uncertain about life’s circumstances, God is constant. God is trustworthy. God is faithful. God is just. God is merciful. God is love.
With God at the center of our lives we can live with confidence that our help comes from Him. In those moments when anxiety attempts to grip our hearts, we must remember God’s steadfast and dependable presence.
Notice any anxiety within your soul. In what situation does God invite you to trust Him? Thank Him for His faithfulness!
We may not have a cloud above us indicating the way to walk, but as followers of Jesus, the Holy Spirit resides within us (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Spirit of the Living God lives in us. Wow – what an incredible reality. His faithful presence inhabits you and I. The certainty of God never leaves us nor abandons us. With that certainty, we can look for His movements within us and around us. Just like we notice a billowy cloud floating through the air, we notice the presence of God with us throughout each day, offering direction and peace.
I finished this post early Sunday morning – a few hours later our sweet Joy St. Clare unexpectedly took her last breath. I am learning to trust the certainty of God in the uncertainty of life’s wilderness circumstances. I look to His direction and peace. I can trust Him. The ache within my soul is gut wrenching. I’ll share about her in the next Spigot. I appreciate your prayers.😥
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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
Numbers 9:16-17 – So it was always: the cloud covered it by day[a] and the appearance of fire by night. 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.
John 14:26-27 – But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
A.W.Tozer. A Cloud by Day, a Fire by Night: Finding and Following God’s Will for You. Bloomington, MN. 2019.
Charles F. Stanley. The Spirit-Filled Life: Discover the Joy of Surrendering to the Holy Spirit. Nashville, TN. 2014.
Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
Michael Ketterer & Influence Music. Spirit Lead Me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABWnLjXer10
Evan Craft, Danny Gokey, Redimi2. Be Alright. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NLnlPs-m58
Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming speaking engagements.
Lakewood, CO – The Bridge Church at Bear Creek MOPS group