It’s All Because of the Cloud
God of the Movement, Week Three
Week 1: God is the Healer and Giver of the miracles of the moment, and He’s the Sustainer, Week 2: Provider, and Protector of the movement.
Week 3: Through the ups and downs of our roller coaster journey, ONE thing never changes…
God’s presence is constant.
He’s always here. Always working. Always caring.
And he’s always calling us to follow him more closely.
Exodus 13:17-22 NLT
17 When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear to do this. He said, “God will certainly come to help you. When he does, you must take my bones with you from this place.” 20 The Israelites left Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The LORD went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire.This allowed them to travel by day or by night. 22 And the LORD did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.
The journey of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land is ultimately a picture of God delivering us from death to life, from our former destiny to our new, eternal home.
And for us, that happens in three phases. When you trust in Jesus…
- PHASE 1: You are immediately, completely, and permanently delivered from the penalty of sin, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and equipped with every resource you need for the journey.
You have a new position. A new status. A new identity.
- PHASE 2: You are slowly, progressively delivered from the power of sin as you learn to walk in the power of God’s presence and become more like his Son, Jesus for the rest of your life on earth.
You have new power. New privilege. And a new opportunity.
In this part of the journey, the “old” dead you still hangs around trying to influence you, but you’ve been born again. You’re brand new.
- PHASE 3: You will eventually be permanently, once-and-for-all delivered from the very presence of sin to live in perfect unity and intimacy with God forever in heaven.
You will have a new place that will never fade away.
And through all of that journey, there is one simple thing you must absolutely remember, no matter what…
Follow the Cloud. God is faithful!
John 16:7, 13 CEV
I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you… The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn’t speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard from me, and he will let you know what is going to happen.
So when you’re saved, the Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in your life. And you can ask him to fill you and lead you and guide you. The Spirit is God in you!
- When God calls us to a journey of walking in step with him… follow the Cloud. God is faithful!
- When we face scary obstacles, setbacks, delays, and detours… keep on following the Cloud. God is faithful!
- When we’ve blown it and we’ve fallen… get back up and follow the Cloud. God is faithful!
- When we think we’ve run out of resources and we’re in a desperate position… keep following the Cloud. God is faithful!
- When we face new opportunities and we aren’t sure we’re up to it… keep following the Cloud. God is faithful!
- When we’ve lost people, lost money, lost time, lost our senses… follow the Cloud. God is faithful!
God can be trusted!