“Follow the Cloud”
And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the sons of Israel journeyed, and in the place where the cloud abode, there the sons of Israel pitched their tents.
This scripture is talking about Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness. This cloud was over the tabernacle during the day. Every now and then God would move them to a different location. More than likely to give the land a rest from the estimated two million people that came out of Egypt, and as a training lesson in obedience, for forty years.
It’s easy to make the connection of the cloud being the Spirit of God, it was the Holy Spirit. We don’t actually know how often or how long in between the movements of the cloud but we know it moved and the people went with it. If you stayed behind you would dry up and die in the desert sun.
The Holy Spirit still moves today. My old pastor used to say, “The message never changes, but the method of delivery does.” I have a couple of books on John Wesley founder of the Methodists and Peter Cartwright the circuit rider preacher. Riding horses and building churches, it certainly was a hard lifestyle. And it was the most effective method of delivery for that day.
But times have changed and so does the method of delivery. Churches will die rather than move with the Holy Spirit. I understand and respect tradition. But if the Holy Spirit is going this way, I plan on following. I see people with tattoos and men with earrings leading worship. Rappers that look like they just got out of prison rapping for the Lord, with lyrics that heal wounded hearts and people respond.
I Corinthians 9:21
To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all things to everyone, that I might by all means save some.
The Holy Spirit wrote this scripture and I’m pretty sure He follows it.
I remember a story years ago about a church in Florida that wanted to start reaching out to the younger generations. The service was full and a young man came in wearing flip-flops, shorts, and a T -shirt. The congregation was shocked that someone would show up to church dressed like this. He was late so everyone noticed him. There were no open seats in the church that day, so he walked down the aisle close to the front seats and just sat down on the first step in the middle of the aisle and started listening to the pastor.
Needless to say, the pious church members were shocked. How could he! Then one of the church elders came to the same entrance door in the church. He was well respected and he was in his late eighties or early nineties. He had a walker and slowly started going down the aisle. Everyone was thinking ‘Mr. elder will teach him a lesson!’ They said you could hear every squeak the walker made and every shuffle of his feet as he slowly approached the young man. The tension mounted waiting to see how he would straighten this man out. When he finally reached the young man, he slowly sat down next to him and listened to the sermon with him.
You see the elder was following the cloud, the Holy Spirit was doing something new, an answer to their prayers.
Everyone got a lesson that day in evangelism and the wisdom of Love and being all things to all people. We may not understand the next generation, but God does, and all He wants us to do is have a little understanding and Love.
He is: “Elohim Ahavah”
“The God Who Loves”