(Psalms 144:12-15) May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace; may our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce; may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields; may our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing; may there be no cry of distress in our streets! Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!
(Luke 12:16-20) And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'
(Luke 12:31) Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
There is an interesting anecdote that compares leadership styles by comparing cowboys to shepherds. When cowboys want to move their cattle from one place to another, they get behind the herd and drive them. When shepherds want to move their sheep from one place to another, they start walking and their sheep follow them where ever they go. The Lord chose the analogy of sheep and shepherds to describe His relationship with His people for many reasons and I believe this is one.
When God's people spent 40 years in the desert between Egypt and the Promised Land, the Lord led them by a pillar of fire at night and a pillar of cloud by day. When He decided to move, the pillar would begin to move in the direction the Lord wanted and the people were responsible to follow, regardless of what the circumstances looked like. There must have been many time when the pillar was leading them from a seemingly prosperous location to a less desirable one; or kept them in a difficult place when a seemingly more prosperous place was in visual range. Israel, in all of their weakness and failures knew that protection and provision was with the pillar.
The point to understand and embrace is that regardless of the circumstances or seemingly better way to go, your protection and provision always lies with the Lord.
Look to where the Lord is or is going and follow Him closely. Do not allow the circumstances of your situation dictate or determine what direction you go or whether you go or stay. Follow the Lord and stay close to the pillar.
Question For Discussion
- What kind of freedom did the Lord give the Israelites during their 40 year trek through the desert?
- If you go in a direction other than where the Lord is leading, do you lose Him or does He allow you to wander away from Him entirely?
- What does staying as close to the Lord as possible ensure for you?