reading-bible

By Kim Olsen

Am I in God’s will? Am I doing the right thing? Lord, what job shall I take? Does God even hear me? How can I hear from God to get the answers I need?

Common questions. I hear them all the time and have asked the very same questions over and over again. It is human nature to want to know the future. What a comfort it would be  to know everything on a day to day basis. Or would it?

In the Old Testament, the Israelites followed the cloud, the Lord, in the desert. Now here they knew that they were following God. In fact they were led for every moment. But picture this scenario…..

A family is settled in because the cloud has stopped moving. They unpack. Set up the tent. Make a fire pit. Put away all their belongings. But wait….the cloud has started moving again….hey, everybody….start packing. Let’s go..go!  What questions might the Israelites had asked….

Where are we going? How long will we travel before we stop again? Why do we stay in one location for three days then the next for three months? Will we stop somewhere that has shade? When we do stop, how long will we stay at that destination? Where will our water come from? Should I continue to follow this cloud that does not seem to be taking us anywhere? Where is this promised land? How long till we get there? I see the cloud but is God really in it? Where is Moses when you need him?

It is not indicated in scripture that the Israelites were given any answers to these questions. They were to just follow the cloud when it moved.

At Bible study we were asked, “Is this really how you want to be led by God?”.  It gives us pause to remember the freedom we have in Christ. Even though the Israelites were visibly directed by God, they rebelled and complained saying more than once that they thought they were better off back in Egypt. Did they forget that they were slaves there? In fact they wanted to replace Moses. “Let us make a captain, and let us return to Egypt.” Numbers 14:3.  So, it seems that even those directly led by God, rebel. 

We were given a mind to make our own decisions. In fact when we look at scripture there is no indication that the general believing population, after reaching Canaan, was given any special direction at all. They just served the Lord in everyday situations, just like we are to today.

Sure, it would be nice to know if we should take a certain job or move to a new city, but we are not entitled to any special revelation from God. He may give us a peace about a decision, check our spirit, or provide providentially, but we are to be wise and make the best decisions possible based on how we are to live our lives based on scripture.

Once we begin to seek hidden knowledge, or wait for a voice boom from above, we get ourselves into trouble of waiting on extra-biblical aid. I do believe there are times when God intervenes supernaturally. Yes, indeed I do. And I also believe that God can and will lead with that small still voice. But this is not the normal way God speaks daily to us or works in our lives. He speaks to us through His written Word.

So, how do you know God and His will?  Genesis to Revelation. There is no easy answer here but one has to start walking with Jesus because He is the Word. He is the Way.

If you are truly hungering for God, then you will hunger for the Word because it is through study and prayer that God will reveal Himself to you. I wish there were shortcuts, but it just isn’t so.

1 John 5:3 says “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,”

To know God is to study His Word. Set aside time each day to read scripture. After you pray, open your Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you in all His ways.

We know from John 1:1 that the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And Jesus is God in the flesh. But the Word or the manna was not enough for the Israelites. They rejected the manna and wanted meat. It was in this way that they rejected God. This of course angered God. “The Lord became exceedingly angry”. Numbers 11:10.

The people became just like the world, like the rabble, they craved more than what God was offering them freely and on a daily basis. Aren’t we just like the Israelites? We are no different. That is why this biblical account is available for us to read and study today.

Are you angering the Lord today by complaining that His Word is not enough? This gives new insight to the statement, “Be careful what you ask for!” The Lord gave the people what they wanted. It was meat they wanted so He sent quail, three feet deep. They were now wading in the very desire that would soon destroy them. They wanted more than what God offered, and so God sent a plague and killed those who “craved other food” besides the manna.

Open your Bible now…and hear the Word of our Lord, and then prayerfully walk in obedience.

(reposted)