The guiding cloud. 01/31/14 (Evening thought)

Exodus 13:21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

As God's people journeyed through the wilderness, God himself led led them in the way they should go by the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire. There were times, early on in their experience when they would wonder what they were to do, or where they were to go next. The Lord then responded to these questions, either by giving instructions through Moses to the people, or by giving them direction through the movements of the cloud. In other words, wherever the cloud went, they followed, and whenever it stopped they likewise also stopped. This method of receiving guidance and direction from God in the experiences of life is very important, if we are to avoid making serious mistakes in our decisions. When we pray to the Lord, asking for His guidance in a certain matter, we sometimes forget to look for the "Guiding cloud" of His providential workings in our lives. God often answers our prayers by permitting specific circumstances to come our way, thereby guiding us in the way we should go. But we must be looking for these circumstances, asking God for wisdom to assess them correctly. For instance, my wife was once laid off from her job on a Friday because of false representations of a fellow worker. Even though it was a great disappointment for us, we decided to take it to the Lord in prayer, for there were many urgent questions to be resolved as a result of her being laid off; should she look for another job? should she file a formal complaint to her former employer, or should we just wait and see where the "Guiding cloud" would lead? Without saying anything to her former employer, he called her early the following Monday morning and reinstated her to her former position, where she continued to work for several years after. Thus, by His providential workings, God made known to us what we should do. In like manner, whenever there are serious decisions to be made, or whenever the perplexities of life cause us to be confused, let's remember to take the issues to the Lord in prayer, looking for the "Guiding cloud", for He promises that if we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will direct our paths in the right and the best way. "Good night" and God bless!