Friday, June 02, 2006

Who Moved?

Have you ever felt distanced from God only to hear someone say “well, if you don’t feel close to God like you once did, he’s not the one who moved.”

Hmmm, I’m pretty sure I’ve said that to others but I’m not so sure it’s true. Numbers 9:15-23 talks about the visible presence of God in the cloud by day and fire at night. This is how God guided the Israelites in their travels. Verse 22 says “Whether the cloud stayed above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year, the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But as soon as it lifted, they broke camp and moved on.”

My first thought after reading this section of scripture was wouldn’t it be nice to have the visible presence of God like that now? I was quickly reminded that we have even better than that. We don’t have to open our eyes to see God; we have his presence inside us. We are the Tabernacle.

The Israelites moved as one body. God’s presence is now spread all over the world but he still leads one body for one purpose.

God’s purpose is not about finding a place for us to be physically comfortable and stay put forever. His presence is in our lives so that we may carry on the work of Christ.

In Luke 4 we find the people amazed with Jesus’ teaching and healing. They don’t want him to leave their town. But Jesus says “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”

Numbers 9:21 says “Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning they set out.” A generation of Israelites wandered through the wilderness being taught by God how to live in peace. The next generation entered the Promised Land after being raised to move from place to place as God leads even if it isn’t where you really want to be.

Has God’s peace lifted from you? Maybe he is the one who moved.

Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace.

Ephesians 6:15 (GWT)

Personal note:

I told someone recently that God would show them the right decision. The nonverbal response said that’s easy for you to say. I laughed thinking of the times I was in her shoes. But the truth is, I’m learning this day by day right now. I have discovered that every day can be peaceful if I simply stay focused on God for directions. I used to have a schedule for everything. Now… my house is a mess and I’m not up-to-date on bookkeeping which caused some finance charges on credit cards. Those things would once upon a time have sent me into hysterics. But last night I had so much fun passing Frisbee with my kids and earlier this week we hit golf balls. I spent all of Wednesday at my son’s Pioneer Day and he even allowed me to be his square dance partner. My daughter and I have gone for walks without me ending up irritated at her (that happens when I have other things on my schedule that I want to get to) and I’ve even let the kids stay up a little later. Life is so much easier when I remember that I really don’t have as much control over tomorrow as I think I do. I’ve come to love Proverbs 16:9 “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” If I try to step according to my plans, there will be an awkward struggle. I’m becoming much more graceful (pun intended) in my walk with God. And it makes life so beautiful.

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the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
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