August 30 – The God Who Comes Through – Leading by Clouds and Fire

Read Exodus 13:17-22

What a sight it must have been, during the day a pillar of cloud and at night a pillar of fire that was so large it gave light to the entire group of Israelites. Keep in mind that this group could easily have been 2 million people when you count all the men, women and children. That would take a very big cloud and fire!

Also, it wasn’t just that God sent the cloud and fire but He was actually IN the pillar leading His people.

Not only did He lead them but He led them in the way that was best for them. As they left Egypt, they were ready for battle but God took them on a longer path -around an enemy- because he knew it could be too hard for them if they faced battle right away.

So what did the people have to do to be guided?

They just needed to keep their focus on the pillar.

Let’s look at today. Who is guiding your life? Is it God or yourself?

Take me as an example and we will compare me leading my life vs God’s leading.

When we look at me, I am a limited human being who can only see a very small part of the past and even the present and certainly not the future. My power to affect significant change is very limited at best.

God, on the other hand, knows absolutely everything past, present and future. He is sovereign which means He is in control of every little detail of all of our lives so bringing about change is nothing for Him.

Also, He loves us so much, with an unconditional love, that He sent His son Jesus to die for us.

So it’s completely clear to me that our Heavenly Father is infinitely better equipped to lead my life than I am. I can think of many times in my life that I went my way instead of God’s and it didn’t work out well at all!

So since I’ve never seen a huge pillar of cloud/fire, how does God lead us today?

I believe there are many ways and I think we should start with His word (Bible). It’s like the user guide for human beings.

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.

Psalm 119:105

There is basic guidance for anything we will face.

He also uses the Holy Spirit. When someone chooses to accept the free gift of forgiveness, offered through Jesus Christ, that person also has the Holy Spirit come to live inside of them. How great is that, God actually living in us. That’s even better than having God’s presence in a pillar!

I believe God can use people to help guide us. He can even use dreams and visions.

No matter how we get the guidance, we want to make sure it’s really from God and the best way I know to do that is to test it against His word. God would never lead us in a way that is contrary to the Bible.

So how is God leading you?

It’s so critical that we spend time with God and a big part of that time is listening. After we have listened and are convinced the guidance is from God, we need to trust and follow even when we don’t think He is leading us in the “best” or easiest way.

So please, get rid of the distractions, listen to God and act on the guidance.

Focus on our Heavenly Father the way the Israelites focused on the pillar.

You won’t regret it!

Mike Molter

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