At the Commandment of the Lord, They Journeyed

Joseph Esposito

We are impatient by nature. On a road trip, kids like to ask, “How much longer?” and “Are we there yet.” We want our delivery order here fast. We have Amazon Prime, Walmart+, and a host of other services that gratify our desire for the immediate- and our culture caters to it time and again.

If we’re not careful, we can expect the same instant gratification in our Christian lives. But God doesn’t work this way. The Lord is very patient. He works on His timetable- for our good, the good of others, and His glory. Many times, we get impatient with the timeframe, the trial, the answer (or lack thereof), or the seeming lack of movement on the Lord’s part.

If we’re not careful, we can take matters into our own hands, outside of God’s timing. We can make a move when we’re not supposed to. We can make a decision prematurely. We can jump the gun, so to speak. Scripture is full of men and women who suffered tragedies and baggage as a result of violating this very principle. But below, we see God’s mind on the matter: When God stays still, so should we. When He says move, move. Whether it’s two days, a month, or even a year (in some cases, years), wait for the Lord’s leading.

Numbers9:21-23 And so it was, when the cloud abode from even 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.

Here, the Children of Israel were in their second year in the wilderness. They were itching to get to the promised land. They were anxious to get to Canaan. But the Lord said, “Don’t go forward ahead of me.” We’d do well to heed the same.

Here are some areas where we might apply this truth. First, let’s be careful about the greener grass syndrome and making a move just because something looks “greener”. As Pastor Meyers says, it still needs to be watered, weeded, fertilized, and it may be fake turf! Let’s not make a move for political reasons. God hardly moves people because of this. The Apostle Paul planted churches and ministered in the worst places morally and politically. Let’s not make a move strictly for financial reasons. If I understand correctly, everyone in Scripture who left God’s will for a better financial situation came back with baggage and tragedy (think Abraham, Naomi, and others). And the list of possible decisions could go on.

Let’s heed the passage above and make decisions – especially life-altering ones- with counsel, and with God’s clear leading in the matter. Our future selves and generations after us will thank us.

Joseph Esposito

Bro. Esposito serves as the vice president of our Bible college, teaches the Cross Point Adult Bible Class, and heads up our children and teen Sunday school ministry. He and his wife Jennifer have six wonderful children.

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