Today was a quiet day and I had a chance to "catch up" on my reading. I'm trying to read through the entire bible from Genesis to Revelation this year. I am about two weeks behind even after spending the better part of the morning reading!
As I was reading in Exodus about the construction of the temple and all of it's furniture, I thought about how the furniture was ready to move at a moment's notice. The table of incense, the ark of the covenant, and the table for the show bread were all equipped with a golden ring at each of the four top corners of the pieces of furniture. Into these rings, long wooden poles were inserted so that when the Lord moved, the pieces could be easily picked up and moved.
God put his cloud over the tabernacle tent during the day. At night, God represented Himself as a pillar of fire. In Exodus 40:36, the Lord told Moses that when the cloud moved, the Israelites were to pack up and follow. When the cloud remained on the tent, everyone stayed in that area. When the cloud moved, the Israelites moved. And they were ready. All the priests needed to do to move the tabernacle furniture was pick them up by the poles and go. They were ready to move when God said, "Move!"
It was upon reading this that I asked myself, "Am I ready to move when God says, 'Move!'?" I need to be sure not to become too attached to anything of this world. I need to be ready to throw off all of my stuff and all of my ideas when God says, "Move!"
So, are you living life with the poles in the furniture? Are you ready to go? If God called you to a mission in Africa, could you throw a few clothes in a bag and go? Well, thankfully, God gives us more warning than a day to go to Africa! But what about reaching out to the undesirable neighbor next door? Can you throw aside your fear of rejection, or your disgust at another's lifestyle, to be a witness and go where God commands? I have to say, that last example is one with which I struggle. I struggle with fear of man. I struggle with fear of rejection. But I'm feeling the challenge to dust off my poles. I'm ready to watch the cloud. I'm learning that I need to move when God says, "Move!"
I was always ready to go for the big things. Go ahead, God, call me to the mission field. We'll pack up the boys and go! Have homeschool, will travel. Go ahead, God, ask me to pursue foreign adoption. I've got the poles in the furniture! OK, God, shall we plant a church? Do you want me to begin a city-wide women's bible study? Let's go! But, although God does occasionally ask big things of us, it is the day to day obedience for which He longs. He wants us to move when He says, take a meal to the new neighbors. He wants us to move when He says, wake up a few minutes earlier to spend extra time in prayer, or arrive at church a few minutes early to pray for those directing the service. It is the, seemingly, little things to which God is more likely to call us. Are you ready to move?
Matthew 24:42 says, "Watch, therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." The Israelites watched a pillar of cloud that was God. We watch the clouds He created for another movement. We are not watching for the cloud to move, but we're watching for them to part. When the clouds do part, we will see our precious Savior coming to take us home. Oh, come Lord Jesus! I'm so ready to throw off these earthly trappings for His return!
But until then, just as the Israelites watched for the cloud to move, I'm watching. My poles are in the furniture and I'm ready to answer His call. I just pray that I can be faithful and go when He says, "Go!"