by Tracy Manno
In the book of Exodus it says that Israel was to move with a cloud by day and a fire by night (See Exodus 13:21 & 40:36-38). In that critical time of Jewish history — when they were led out of captivity and eventually moved into their promised land — God’s manifested presence, provision and protection was as common each day for them as are the provisions and protections we have come to expect each day.
For all the years of my life I have lived within the expectation of having food, shelter and clothing every day. These are the things that God tells us we are to find our contentment with (see 1 Timothy 6:8), and these are the things that He Himself provided for Israel as they wandered the wilderness.
The key, however, for Israel to live within these provisions was to simply be positioned where God was. The provision and protection that God provided was available from the place of His presence. As Moses recognized this and led Israel with that belief (see Exodus 33:14-15), so we desperately need to be of the same mindset.
The current world events we find ourselves in highlight this point even more, and in fact provide for us the shaking we may need to bring this truth back into focus for our lives.
Israel would either make camp or mobilize as a whole based on the positioning of the cloud and the fire. If the glory of God would start to move the entire nation would break camp and follow. If the glory of God would stop at a specific place the entire nation would setup camp and remain within the cloud.
Think about the reality this created for them. Maintaining a healthy mindset required an abandoning of whatever plans and “normal life” expectations each person and family had come to develop. Imagine staying in one place for an extended amount of time, becoming accustomed to that place, even developing future plans for that place, and then God’s cloud starts to move somewhere else. Without a life-mindset of being positioned with God, you could understand how God’s plans could become an unwelcome interruption to their plans, and ours.
In the days of the exodus it would have been easy to see when the cloud or the fire would depart and when it would rest. Today, for the born again Christian, God has put his fire and Spirit to dwell within each of us. But we must be aware of His presence. We must open our spiritual eyes and become exceedingly familiar to His leading. The cares and concerns of this life, as well as our allegiances to the wisdom of this world, will impede our awareness. Building a life around the ideal of maintaining our own sense of normalcy can become our greatest hindrance to seeing and being positioned with what God is doing (see Luke 21:34-36).
The shaking of normalcy that we have started to experience is not something we should be afraid of, nor is it something we should ignore. The Bible says that the uproar of a storm will test the foundations our lives are built upon (see Matthew 7:24-27) and will reveal the strength of the materials we used to build. If we have built with worldly wisdom and mindset, the building will fall. But if we have built with eternal wisdom and heavenly mindset, then the house will stand. For the things of the Kingdom of God cannot be shaken (see Hebrews 12:18-29).
As we continue to experience the foundations of our normal lives to shake, we need to ask ourselves the questions that will reveal what our thoughts have been centered on, and what wisdom we have been building our lives upon. Where do you want to be led? The world and the powers over this world are leading one way. The cloud and Spirit of God are leading another.
As you see the world around you rattle and change, where do you want to be positioned? Or maybe the better question is where are you currently positioned? Are you afraid to move from the normal expectations you had for your life, or are you prepared to break camp, shake off the dust of times past, and move with the Spirit of God into the new thing that He is leading us toward?
These are indeed unfamiliar times we are living in, but they are not completely unknown, nor are we without light as those walking aimlessly in the dark. As long as we are in touch with what God is doing, and where He is moving, we can escape the snares of deception that overtake the masses, and provide a light to a world in desperate need of truth.
To those with ears to hear and eyes to see, the events taking place in our world today can be the very circumstances that move each of us into the exact position God is desiring. But as the apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:22-24, we must be prepared — and of the mindset — to put off the old and put on the new!