My dear friend from college-English-major days, Cari, now lives in Waco, my birth town. We shared a passion for all things British-the literature, long afternoons over tea and biscuits and rainy days. It was on her heart some time back to share with 10 of her friends the book her pastor, John Stickl, recently released, “Follow the Cloud.” I LOVE this book.
As you can surmise, it’s centered upon hearing God’s voice one next step at a time. Stickl takes his premise from the book of Exodus wherein the Israelites followed the cloud of God’s presence on their journey to the Promised Land, and did not move until He moved. The physical aspect of this journey has always come across to me as tedious. Why, oh why, did it have to take 40 years when they actually could have taken this path in 11 days.
Stickl proposes that what the Israelites (and us today) fail to understand is that these 40 years of wandering were actually a journey of the heart. “The goal wasn’t just to get them to a new land; it was to help them learn to live free as beloved children of God.”
Have you stopped to consider that our goal isn’t necessarily meant to find the perfect life, house, car, job, education, business, kids… you name it? God is much more interested in who we become in this journey of life-He is after our hearts.
Stickl maintains that this process of following the cloud “is simply a life of restful movement.” We rest in Christ and move forward in Him. “The relationship is superior to the destination.” Following the cloud wasn’t as much about “getting” somewhere, but about “enjoying” God.
Do you know who you are in Christ-dearly beloved? Do you know how much He loves you? When you hit a rough spot in life, or don’t even hear from God are you tempted to assume that God is withholding his blessings, His presence, a word? When we know how much we are loved, so many of our questions fall away. And when we marinate in His love, we reciprocate and long for His presence.
There is no race “to get there” as I had always believed. I simply cannot do it on my own, because I was never meant to. He always calls us to something so much greater than ourselves because we MUST do everything in His power and might. As the Lord told Zerubbabel, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6
It’s all about relationship. He longs for you.
Do you LONG for Him?
For his presence?