This devotional first appeared in https://www.islandsadventist.org
Scripture: At the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed; they kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by the hand of Moses. (Numbers 9:23 NKJV)
Observation: This is one of the most precious promises from God – that He would be with the Israelites, His people, during their travels. At night, the pillar of fire would tells them He was with them and was their light, and during the day the pillar of cloud would be with them and be their shade. The Israelites, at the same time, would only move when God wanted them to move, and they would remain in a place as long as He wanted them to remain in that place. This arrangement provided them comfort and courage in God, and also an opportunity for them to demonstrate their obedience and trust in Him.
Application: I have pondered about this text many times because of the work He chose for us in pastoral and educational ministry. We have moved so many times and to so many different locations – from the Southwestern cities of Oklahoma City and Muskogee, in Oklahoma, to the eastern United States in New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia, to the Midwest in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and with nearly two decades before we retire who knows what other places He has in store for us. As a student returning from California for a summer youth pastor program, I remember driving through Oklahoma when the sun was just setting over the western horizon, a huge ball of fire as I never had seen before, never imagining that one day, after college, we would be working in that state. I remember driving from Columbia Union College to New York City and thinking to myself that I wouldn’t want to live in New Jersey (at least northern, industrial Jersey), and yet we spent some of the best four years in our lives in that state. Or I remember while attending Andrews University Theological Seminary we drove to Racine, Wisconsin, to visit some friends, and never imagine that one day, many years later, we would work and live there for the best seven years of our ministry. While in Wisconsin we drove to Minneapolis to catch a Yankees-Twins game, and the thought never even crossed our mind that one day we would live in that same area.
As I reflect on these experiences, I can’t help but wonder what God has in store for us next. I write these words in Portland, Oregon, where we are making two presentations. Yesterday we drove to Washington, just across the river, and Pam and I wondered if one day we might be out here, or in the south, where the warmth would be a welcome experience to cold-natured Pam, or out west, or the northeast, or who knows where. . . only God. And that’s what we marvel at the most, knowing that no matter where we are, if God takes us there, that is home, and He will take care of us. As long as we follow Him and do His will for our lives, we will be blessed and happiest. That being the case, we can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.
A Prayer You May Say: Father, thank You for your leading in the past and for your guidance in our future. We know You have been with us all along; now we can hardly wait to see what You have in store for our future. May You continue to guide us and may we always see clearly what Your will for our lives is.
Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.