“So they camped or traveled at the LORD’s command, and they did whatever the LORD told them through Moses.” Numbers 9:23
As I read through today’s reading I am struck by this wilderness journey and how it is a “walk in faith.” So many times we want to know the future, we want to have all of our “ducks in order” and we want to be prepared for anything that enters our path. The Israelites on the other hand, simply walked in faith. They didn’t know where they were going, they didn’t know what the future would hold and they certainly didn’t make preparations for the future they just, “…traveled and camped at the LORD’s command wherever He told them to go…” (v.18) I truly envy them, their walk in faith should spur all of us to keep moving and trusting in God even when the way in front of us is unclear and the “clouds” are thick. I am reminded that in the New Testament there are so many references to this walk in faith:
“Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For our ancestors won God’s approval by it.” Hebrews 11:1-2 (HCSB)
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (HCSB)
It is interesting that I memorized both of those verses last year and never fully grasped the significance of them until I read this reading. The Israelites were not blind they weren’t walking in a fog, they were putting all of their faith in God. When I was researching this Scripture I came across a sermon on faith by John Knight that highlights 6 characteristics of what it truly means to walk in faith, they are:
- To walk in faith is believing when I don’t see it.
- To walk in faith is obeying when I don’t understand it. Both Abraham and Moses are great examples of stepping out in faith with little to no understanding of what lies ahead.
- To walk in faith is giving when I don’t have it. How many times have we thought about tithes and instead of giving back to the LORD what is His, we are concerned about the “what-ifs” of our day to day living expenses? He always provides.
- To walk in faith is persisting when I don’t feel like it. Moses is a great example of perseverance, “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27 (NIV)
- To walk in faith is thanking before I receive it. Learning to praise God in advance is the art of relying on Him, therefore, not waiting to acknowledge His gift to us.
- To walk in faith is trusting if I don’t get it. How many times do we blame God when we don’t get what we “think” is good for us? Real, true faith is continuing to walk in faith even though it feels like the world is falling apart around us. It is through our storms that God reveals Himself to us.
Knight finishes his thoughts by asking the following questions:
Am I walking by faith? Am I believing when I don’t see it? Obeying when I don’t understand it? Giving when I don’t have to? Persisting when I don’t feel like it? Thanking before I receive it? Trusting if I don’t get it? I challenge each of us today to ask ourselves the very same questions.
Corrie Ten Boom wrote, “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest. It all depends on where you’ve got your eyes.” Our eyes should be focused on the “cloud”. let us keep our heads out of the clouds and learn to be led by it instead. I pray that I will always be willing to follow His “cloud” and go where He sends me, even if it leads me out of my comfort zone.