“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night” (Exodus 13:21).
Holy Spirit Lead Us:
I hear some Christian’s today who are saying about church, ‘We don’t want forms, we don’t want programs, we don’t want man being in control, we just want the Holy Spirit to lead us.’ I agree with these people up to a point. Man’s program’s void of the anointing of the Holy Spirit are dry and without the power to move people toward Jesus.
I am all for the Holy Spirit leading us in and out of church but how else is He going to lead us if not through the human vessel of a man or woman who has been called, appointed and anointed? Why else would God say in Ephesians 4:11-12, that He has set some in the Church as Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers? When God asked me to teach His word years ago, He asked me to be a ‘willing vessel for Him to pour Himself through to touch hurting people, etc.’ From cover to cover, the Bible is full of human vessel’s that God lead by His Spirit to move and speak His purposes into this earthly realm. But like Paul said, “follow me as I follow Christ.” The same applies today, we are to follow our leaders, only as they follow Christ.
From Ephesians 4:11-12, God set people in place so that, by and through the Holy Spirit, we could be equipped and built up for the work of the ministry. So that we could go on to fulfill the commission of Jesus as, Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers, working in partnership with Jesus through His Spirit. So we could learn how to enter in and move with the glory cloud in and out of the church. And so we could be a vital part in advancing the Kingdom of God in the earth.
The church is full of people sitting back comfortably in their padded pews waiting for Holy Spirit to move and bring revival in their midst. They want God to do it all. Sort of like drive-thru service where they want a quick word (fix) and be on their way. They don’t want to be unconvinced by doing anything such as spending time individually and corporately to intercede for and birth revival into the church. In fact, that’s a novel idea for a lot of churches today.
The truth is, we, the Church, are in partnership with God through the blood of Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to do the work of the ministry of Jesus in the earth. Its not God doing all the work, although He can without any help from us, but He didn’t set things up that way. Being in covenant with God means that, as born again Christians by the blood Jesus shed on the cross, we are in a partnership with the great God Jehovah! Amen! That means, we have our part to do in this thing.
The Holy Spirit IS working to get the Church to the place where people will rise up out of slumber and complacency to take a step of faith and intercede for revival. To pray individually and also come together corporately to intercede for and birth revival into your church. A lot of churches across the country ARE being faithful to do this very thing, while others are, as it were, asleep at the wheel. Therefore, we need to rouse ourselves out of slumber and get moving with God. Though many churches have stopped in their journey to camp out in a place of comfort and ease, God is on the move. Just because He said, “Be still and know that I am God,” He didn’t mean for you to take a long nap and become stagnant spiritually.
On the Move:
Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the deep. And the Spirit of God MOVED upon the face of the waters.”
The Spirit of God is always moving and therefore, we must move with Him. Many people in the church are sitting back saying, ‘When the Spirit moves on me, I’ll move.’ With this attitude, don’t be surprised if He leaves you where you are for a while longer.
This reminds me of something my daddy told one our neighbors a long time ago. My parents were discussing the Bible with this woman and her husband who were not born again Christians. I was around ten or eleven at the time when my parents were witnessing to these friends about salvation. In response, I heard this woman say, “Well, if the Lord wants me to be saved, I guess He’ll just have to save me.” I will never forget my daddy’s reply to her comment. He said, “Yeah, and He’ll leave you sitting there too.” Amen to that. Again, we have our part to do. In later years, these friends of my parents did make a MOVE of faith and give their lives to Jesus Christ.
We have to choose to take that first step of faith on God’s word then He will help us the rest of the way by His grace. Actually, its by His grace that we can do anything. His grace has enabled us to have the freedom of choice. Amen. There are times when God absolutely wants us to ‘wait upon the Lord, and be still,’ but in the waiting period, God doesn’t mean for us to sit down, fold our hands and do nothing. Just nod off to sleep in apathy. When you snooze, you lose.
Jesus said plain (as day), “Occupy until I come” (Luke 19:13). That means, being active in the Spirit. It means to DO something for the Kingdom of God. James 1:22, says, “Be a doer of the word and not a hearer only, deceiving your own selves.” There is a time to move and there is a time to ‘wait upon the Lord.” This is where we must be sensitive to Holy Spirit’s presence and His leading. We must sharpen our discernment by the word, by prayer and worship, relying on wisdom to know what God is telling us to do at any given time.
Its Time To Move:
One thing is for certain, when God says, its time to MOVE, we need to rise up in faith and MOVE with the glory cloud. Again, we must get ourselves to the place where we’re sensitive to the voice of Holy Spirit, getting ourselves under the glory cloud and moving when it moves. If we fail to do this, then we will be left behind.
Exodus 40:36-37, “And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went outward in all their journeys: But if the cloud was not taken up, then they journeyed not til the day that it was taken up.”
The Bible says that WE, as blood-washed Christians, are the temple (tabernacle) of God today since Jesus went to the cross. The Spirit of God comes to take up residence, when invited, to live in man’s human spirit by the blood of Jesus. Hallelujah! There is a glory cloud over our tabernacle today when we’re obedient by faith to remain under its power and protection.
As with the Israelites, when the glory cloud moves, let us move with it. When the glory cloud stops at a certain place and time, let us stop as well and rest. Let us not run ahead of God, thinking we know a short-cut to get us to our next assignment quicker. Also, may we not lag behind, murmuring and complaining, wondering if God is ever going to move with revival in our midst. Is God ever going to move with the building program, etc.
Many churches right now are missing their hour of visitation from the Lord Jesus because their discernment has become dull. The glory cloud is hovering over their church for a visitation and they are not aware of it for the most part. As God came and sat down upon Mt. Siani when He wanted to speak to Israel, the whole mountain shook with the Glory, Himself. Praise the Lord!
When God comes to sit down upon our churches all across the land, a rumbling and shaking takes place. But discerning His presence for many has become dull due to a lack of righteousness, purity and holiness. When the glory comes and the shaking starts, many people, as it were, start running around in confused circles, bumping into each other and wondering what’s going on? God has come to set things in order in the church and to establish His glory for revival.
In their confusion, they are thinking that it’s the devil who has come to bring about havoc and destruction. It’s a truth, the devil will be in there taking advantage of the situation to bring all the destruction he can. In fact, he’s the author of confusion, not God. But so many people, in this confused state, will be raising religious fists, thinking they are rebuking the devil, when its God and His wonderful Self Who has come for a visitation. Sadly, the people are rebuking Holy Spirit because He has brought what they have been praying for yet, they discern its something else and they end up missing God. They MOVED out of position for the glory cloud to settle over them.
This is a pitiful scene isn’t it? Still, there are people and churches all over who are out from under the glory cloud. They haven’t truly entered in to that realm of the Spirit, although they may desire it. Having the desire is one thing but doing nothing with it will get you nothing. Desire is a spring-board for faith and the two works together, being motivated by love. In hot summer weather, you can look at a swimming pool all day long, desiring to experience the cool and refreshing water. But just standing there looking at it won’t do you one ounce of good until you ENTER INTO the pool of water and ‘experience’ it.
You can be close to the glory---God Himself and never enter in to experience His glorious presence. Like the Israelites, you worship Him from afar. We have to learn to ‘enter in’ before we can truly move with the glory cloud. Moses learned how to enter in through humble faith and obedience. That was, and is the ‘key.’ Joshua learned how to enter in to His presence using this same ‘key.’ And so must we enter in using this same ‘key’ of humble faith and obedience to do the will of God by His word in our lives.
They and the people learned to fear the Lord. That is, to honor and show reverence to God. Something that is missing today in our ‘modern day’ Christianity and in the Church. Moses and the other leaders learned themselves and then taught the people about righteousness, purity and holiness from a holy God, Who said, “I have set you apart as a holy people unto Myself.”
Did they walk in it perfectly? No. Not any more than you and I have or can without the empowerment of God’s grace and glory. But we take that step of faith on God’s word, trusting Him to help us by His Spirit to get to that level of holy living that He has called us to. We must endeavor to have our discernment sharpened through faith in His word and in obedience in keeping and acting on it. It also requires us to take ‘set apart’ time in prayer and intercession, developing the reverential fear of the Lord once again. And the giving of ourselves through praise and worship of God, whereby, we enter into the realm of the Spirit and learn to MOVE with the glory cloud.