Num. 9:17 When the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel followed it. And whenever the cloud settled, the people of Israel camped.
How often do we not do it? How often do we wait on the Lord and plunge ahead only when we know He is leading the way? If we are honest with ourselves, probably very few of us can say that we move only when the Lord clearly tells us to move.
God had hovered over the Israelites by appearing in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. As long as the cloud hovered over the Tent of Meeting, the Israelites stayed put. When the cloud lifted and moved, the Israelites broke camp and followed. They did not strike out on their own without the Lord going before them to show them the way.
I suspect that many of the struggles we encounter in life could be easily avoided if we were to do as the Israelites did. We are prone to go where we want to go and do what we want to do and expect God to bless it. It usually does not work out too well for us. Jesus is the way, so it only makes sense to let Him lead us instead of us trying to lead Him.
As the old church hymn put it, “The Lord knows the way through the wilderness; all I have to do is follow.” Another favorite hymn of mine is, Where He Leads Me I Will Follow. How do we know where and when He leads us? We must spend plenty of time alone with Him in His Word and in our prayer closet with an open heart. We must be fully surrendered to Him and willing to go where He wants us to go to do what He wants us to do. When we live like that, we will be sensitive to His voice calling us to follow Him. When He is Lord of our hearts, He will make sure we are where we need to be to do what we need to do to honor Him before man.