The Guidance of God (Exodus 40:36–38) - Radical

The Guidance of God (Exodus 40:36–38)

“Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out, but if the cloud was not taken up and they did not set out, to the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day and fire was in it by night. In the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.”
– Exodus 40:36–38

I love this picture in Exodus 40:36–38. Of God leading his people in the Old Testament. What a powerful picture when God says it’s time to go, causes this cloud to rise up and move out. When it’s time to stop, the cloud settles down. Similarly, fire by night and everybody in sight of all the house of Israel, they could see it through all their journeys.

Exodus 40:36–38 Reminds Us that God Leads Us

In these verses we see a picture of God leading His people step by step. He has given us His Spirit and leads us today.

Like this picture of God physically leading his people step by step by step. Don’t you want that in your life? God show me what to do. Lead me. Guide me. Especially when you’re making decisions. Heather and I were talking last night about a big decision and we’re just praying. I’m praying this morning. God, please lift up the cloud and move it if you’re leading us to it. Cause the fire to direct us. Obviously there’s not a physical cloud or physical fire I’m looking for, but here’s the good news. The same God who led his people in this way in Exodus 40:36–38 is the same God who leads his people today. He’s leading me today.

Exodus 40:36–38 Reminds Us that God Wants Us to Succeed

It’s not like God doesn’t want me to go in the right direction. God wants me to make a wise decision. He wants you to make wise decisions. He doesn’t hide his will from us. Sometimes we walk around saying, “I just want to find God’s will for my life.” Well, it’s not lost. He doesn’t hide it from us. Now, obviously yes there are times when we don’t know exactly what to do in this or that circumstance. So, we pray. We pray and we seek him and he shows us. You know how much God wants us to follow his will? He wants us to know and follow his will so much that he has put his very spirit, his Holy Spirit inside of to lead our thoughts, to guide our desires and our decision making toward that end. This is awesome.

Exodus 40:36–38 Leads Us to Pray for God’s Guidance

So, I’m praying right now for this decision that Heather and I are making. We’re praying together and we’re trusting that the spirit of God inside of us is going to lead us and guide us. Even as I say this, I’m looking at the time and I know Heather is about to be on a call that’s going to have an effect on that decision. What confidence to be able to pray right now not just for my own life, but for you and decisions you’re making.

Whenever I make decisions, God, lead us, guide us we pray. We want to follow you. We want to know your will and walk in it. So, help us. Help us to discern. Help us to discern your thoughts, your ways, your desires, your direction and we pray this with confidence, with total confidence. Not in ourselves, but with total confidence in you. You’re going to lead us. You’re going to guide me and Heather in this.

Even right now, she might be on the phone having a conversation and you’re guiding right now. You will guide in the days to come. Not just me, not just my family but you will guide us, all of your people. Thank you, thank you for this confidence that we have in you and your gracious guidance of our everyday lives in this journey we’re on. Thank you for leading us, guiding us, directing us by your spirit. Every step of the way. Help us to stay close to you, to remain in you, to abide in you in a Proverbs three kind of way. To trust in you with all our heart, lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways, just all the time acknowledging you and believing that you will make our paths straight. So, in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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