Wisdom in Tough Decisions (Exodus 40:34–38) - Radical

Wisdom in Tough Decisions (Exodus 40:34–38)

“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting, because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 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, then they did not set out til 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 40:34–38

I just want to read Exodus 40:34–38. And then pray according to them.

When we encounter important decisions, we should surround ourselves with a community that points us to God’s Word.

What a picture in Exodus 40:34–38. There’s so much we could talk about here, pray in light of here, but I specifically want to lead us to pray for God’s direction in our lives. I’m guessing there are some who are listening right now who are walking through some major decisions in their lives. You’ve got big decisions to make, and you’re praying, “God, please show me what to do. What do I do next? What big decision do I make here that affects maybe not just even my life or my family, but it affects so many different people?” The weight of that decision is weighing heavy on you.

Exodus 40:34–38 Reminds Us of God’s Will for Our Lives

There’s others who may not be making those kinds of decisions, but the reality is, we make decisions every day, and don’t we want to be led by God in every single one of those decisions? This is one of the most common questions that Christians ask, “How do I know God’s will for my life? How do I know what God is leading me to do?”

We could read a passage like Exodus 40:34–38 and be like, “Well, that would make it easy. I just look where the cloud goes and follow the cloud.” Like, “Do I move to this city? Well, is the cloud going to that city? If so, then I go. If not, then I don’t go. Or do I do this or that, and just look for the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night?” We almost think, “Well, that’d be a lot easier, God, if You would do that now.”

Exodus 40:34–38 Reminds Us God Has Saved Us

But the reality is, God has done something far, far, far better now than what I just read from Exodus 40:34–38. God has not put his spirit over a tent where His glory dwells in that place, and we all have to look to that exact place to see what God is doing. Instead, by the grace of God, through Jesus’ death on the cross, resurrection from the grave, ascension on high, ascending of the Holy Spirit, His presence now dwells inside you and me, inside each person who’s put our trust in Jesus. You don’t have to look to a tent, the Holy Spirit dwells in you, which means the Holy Spirit is in you, leading, guiding and directing your thoughts, your desires and your decisions.

As you seek Him. As you abide in His word. And as you walk in obedience to His word and all the things that we have in God’s word we know we should do as we walk in obedience in all of those ways, we trust in the Lord with all our heart. He makes our paths straight. This is a promise straight from God.

This Verse Reminds Us of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is our helper, who leads, guides and directs our lives for His glory. For the glory of God. When we are walking in step with the Holy Spirit, when we are walking in obedience to God’s word, we can know He will not lead us astray, ever. The reality is, Old Testament saints, all these hundreds of thousands of people, Exodus could not have even dreamed about what you and I have in the Holy Spirit, and the glory of God dwelling in us. “Christ in you,” Colossians 1:27 says.

God, I pray over every single person listening right now who has put their trust in Jesus and God. If they’re not, I pray that today would be the day where they trust in Jesus to forgive them of their sins. And to fill them with Your Holy Spirit, to reconcile them in relationship with You as the Lord of their life. I pray over every single person for whom You are the Lord of their life, Jesus. And those Your spirit dwells in. And God, I pray that by Your spirit, You would lead and guide and direct them.

This Verse Leads Us to Pray for Wisdom

And those who are making big decisions today, this next week, this next month, pray that You would give them wisdom from Your spirit. Pray that You would give them counsel, good counsel, pray that You would counsel them by Your spirit. Pray for good, helpful, biblically-driven, spirit-filled counsel from brothers and sisters in Christ as they make that decision.

We praise You. We don’t have to make decisions in our lives alone. You’ve given us the church to walk with us through decision-making processes. I just pray that You would give a peace and a calm amidst any anxiety over a decision that someone is making. That they would look to you. And trust you with all their heart. Lean not on their own understanding. In all their ways, acknowledge You. And walk in step with Your word and Your spirit. As well as that You would make their path straight.

And God, I pray that over every single person listening right now, including myself. With every little decision, we make guide us by Your Spirit, we pray. Lead us in step with Your spirit in an even greater way that You’ve made possible, Lord Jesus, than what we read about in Exodus 40:34–38. May Your presence lead and guide us. And may we enjoy You in all of Your glory every step of the way. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro 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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