On the day the Tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered it. But from evening until morning the cloud over the Tabernacle looked like a pillar of fire … Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. In this way, they traveled and camped at the Lord’s command wherever he told them to go—Numbers 9:15-18, NLT
The Israelites did not trace the most efficient route from Egypt to Canaan, but they did not owe their wanderings to the lack of a good guide. The LORD was willing to lead them at every moment. Unfortunately, they disobeyed God and their migration suffered grave detours. They ended up losing an entire generation in the desert instead of entering directly into the land that flowed with milk and honey. The intention and availability of the LORD offered a guide to them, and God’s presence in the cloud and the fire made the offer clear. Nevertheless, the story of the exodus recounts the grave errors and rebellions of the people.
The principle remains the same for God’s immigrants today. When we move at the impulse of the LORD and follow God’s guidance in our life, we travel well. When we choose our way based on our own own desires and criteria, God cannot lead us, and we pass along frustrating paths.
God’s immigrants move at the stimulus of God. The decision to immigrate represents one of the most serious decisiones a person can make. Equally, the decisions to get married, to enter a career, to invest time and money in higher education, and others can change the whole course of our life. In such decisions, the wise person consults with God through prayer. We will receive guidance and confirmation of God’s holy will for us, just as God wanted to guide Israel. More than 80 years ago, a man I once knew unfairly lost a competition to receive a university scholarship. Despite his high intelligence, he became bitter over the injustice and refused to attend the university, although other means of financing his studies existed. That decision frustrated the rest of his life and also affected the lives of his children, who did not study either, even though they had equal aptitude for professional careers. Just one decision taken against the will of God inflicted grave costs on that family for generations.
¿How many generations of your family will wander lost if you do not make a commitment to walk God’s way?
Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry. All Rights Reserved. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Joseph Castleberry is president of Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. He is the author of The New Pilgrims: How Immigrants are Renewing America’s Faith (forthcoming in August 2015, Worthy Publishing). Follow him on Twitter @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.