Numbers 9 talks about celebration of the Passover. God spoke to Moses and had him be sure everyone celebrated Passover the right time – “celebrate it on schedule, on the evening of the fourteenth day of this month”. It was to be done “following all the rules and procedures”. This celebration was very structured and required a lot of things be done correctly. There were some in the group that had become unclean because of contact with a corpse, and they came to Moses to find out if they could participate. I love what Moses does. He doesn’t just spew an answer – check out what he says: “I find out what God says in your circumstances”. That is how it should work for us. We come up against something we need to make a decision on, we stop and seek God. We don’t go with our gut, or what seems right, we go with God. We ask. That would be a major change for most of us. God cares about the details and wants to give us guidance but we have to ask before we make decisions and do things. Too often we move forward and then ask God to bless what we have already done. What a different approach to stopping and asking first…..hmmm, may be a principle here. The Passover was open to anyone who wanted to celebrate as long as they followed the rules and procedures. Guess what, they would need to ask to be able to do that too. Common theme here it seems!
The last portion of the chapter talks about the Cloud. God led the people with a Cloud by day and a Fire by night. Where it was, they went. If the Cloud moved, the people packed it up and followed. If it hovered, “they honored God’s command and wouldn’t march”. Obedience? Yep – absolutely the way it worked. “They stayed in camp, obedient to God’s command”. Don’t you wish we had a Cloud or Fire to follow? We do – not in exactly the same way – but the Holy Spirit lives in us and through us to serve that purpose. God’s Word was given to us to serve that purpose. Prayer serves that purpose. So the real question is – are you taking advantage of what God has given you to lead you? Check out how the people responded to God: “the moment God issued orders they marched”. When the Cloud or Fire moved, they moved. Not tomorrow, not when they got around to it, they marched when God moved. Immediately…. and “they lived obediently by God’s orders”. Do you want to hear God’s will for your life? You have to seek, listen and most importantly obey. God is not in the suggestion business. He gives His direction to those who will hear and follow it. It isn’t for consideration, it is for action and obedience. Not when we get around to it, but when He gives it. That is the key to finding God’s will. Seek, listen and obey. Are you living that way?