Follow the Lord
"And so it was, when the cloud abode from evening unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed. Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed. At the commandment of the Lord they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the Lord they journeyed: they kept the charge of the Lord, at the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses." Numbers 9:21-23
There have been many times in my life when I did not know where to go or what to do. I faced a crossroads in my life, and I was not sure where I would take my next step. Looking back, it was not the big deal I made it out to be, but at the time, the decision seemed larger than life. The decisions I had to make were important at the time, and I sadly did not consider the Lord's will as much as I sought what was good for me. We often think we know best, and we sometimes do not seek the Lord in all things as we should. I have come to know there is no peace like there is when you are walking with the Lord, and there is full confidence when you walk in the steps in which He has ordered you.
I was unemployed and looking for job and was desperate to find anything. I had an interview for a non-profit role that I felt I was perfect for, and I was excited for the opportunity of this possible new job. I had not prayed about the job or the interview because I felt it would be a lock, but I did ask others to pray for me. I arrived at the interview and they were having technical difficulties. Little did I know this would be the theme of the day. I was supposed to be interviewed by someone from Chicago, and this was way before Zoom and other applications which made video conferencing much easier. I waited patiently outside the room while they worked on the video when I was struck with my first blow.
A gentleman came out of the room and apologized for the delay and introduced himself to me. The introduction included his name and title which sounded quite familiar to me. I thought his title was the job I was interviewing for, but I was later told that they had changed it, and I was interviewing for a different position. I tried not to show any emotion in the introduction, but I was clearly frazzled and ill-prepared for the technical difficulties to be cleared up. I thought I did well in the interview, but I did not get the job as I had expected. I thought I had an “in” because I knew someone who worked in the organization, but God clearly shut the door on that opportunity. I was disappointed and downtrodden after the rejection, and I knew I would have to follow the Lord's leading instead of thinking I could orchestrate anything on my own.
I gave up trying to force things as that clearly did not work, and I prayed that God would lead me to the job He had for me. I ran into an old friend at the gym, and he told me his wife was looking for someone to lead a team at the place where she was the store manager. I was trying to find something on my own, and God opened the door for me in the locker room where I was getting ready after a workout. It was not how I pictured finding a new job, but God's ways are clearly not my ways. I look back now and see how God was connecting the dots in my life, and I regret that I did not follow sooner.
The children of Israel were obedient and followed God so closely they did not move until God moved them. The cloud was over the place where they would need to stay and when it moved, they moved. They did not assume God's intentions and motives, but they moved only when God directed them to do so. They patiently waited for the commandment of the Lord, and they waited as long as God had them wait. We often grow tired of waiting and assume God's will and motive for our lives and move when we are supposed to stay where He has us. We surmise His will, and it often leads us into messes we could have avoided. God help us to be like the children of Israel who avoided messes (at least at this time in their story) because they kept the commandment of the Lord.
Will you obey the leading of the Lord or will you foolishly push to another destination without the blessing of God? Will you follow where He will take you or will you procrastinate on what He has said? Where is God leading you to go and where is telling you to stay? Be careful of making hasty decisions and make sure it is of the Lord and not simply what you want. May we follow and obey the commandment of the Lord, and may we rest in the peace that comes from following Him.
Stay in the fight!