Keeping our Eyes Up

Keeping Our Eyes Up
Exodus 40:36-38

Scripture: “In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out – until it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle day by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.”

Observation: I see a lot of parallel between the desert wanderings of the Israelites and the church in the 21st century. Like the Israelites, we (the Church) are waiting for the “Promised Land”, the hope of glory that one day we will be with Christ in his forever Kingdom. Yet, we are still here on this earth following God until that appointed time. What strikes me as profound in this passage is that the Israelites had their eyes fixed on God’s presence. It’s like everyday they woke up out of their tents and the first thing they would do is look up to see where God was at. Every day they were waiting and wondering when God would have them move. They were living in expectation that God would move them and they watched for his presence to lift above the tabernacle as the sign that it was time to follow. When he moved, they moved.

Application: Every day the people of Israel looked with expectation of where God would take them. They were ready, they kept their eyes up and they had expectant hearts. I think for us, we have a tendency to put our eyes down and to put down roots too quickly. I don’t mean to limit that just to where we physically live. I think that is just a small part of God’s moving in our lives. God sometimes calls people to get up and move across the globe, but for others he might be asking them to follow and move in other ways. Perhaps it is to start something new like: get a job, or to go to school, or to start a ministry. Those types of moves are easier than some of the other harder moves that God asks us to make. Perhaps he wants a change like giving up a certain privilege or activity to make time for Jesus, to take a lower paying job to have more time with family, or to let go of a certain ministry or release someone else into that area. Those changes are harder for us to accept. Sometimes we want to put our roots down and argue that we’re in a good place and God should bless us where we are at. After all, perhaps God led you to be at that job or in that ministry, God had actually called you there.  Yet, it’s always dangerous to be in a “good” place if it is not the “right” place. God’s voice and calling are never static; he did not lead the Israelites to just one place in the desert and let them stay there for 40 years. Our tendency is to feel like we’ve arrived after God has led us someplace and then at that moment we take our eyes off of God and on the place where we are at. Then we think of how we can settle there. However, as long as we have breath, God is calling us to keep our eyes on Christ and to be ready to move and change at any moment. How is God asking me to move today? What are the things that perhaps I need to let go of today?

Prayer: Jesus, I pray that I would have my eyes and heart open to you and ready to do what it is you would have me to do. I pray I would not hold onto anything too tightly but to let you rule sovereignly in me. Jesus, I know that you are always leading and guiding me and my prayer is that you would help me be more aware of your voice everyday. May I not put my eyes down on where I am at the expense of missing you and your presence but rather help me to keep my eyes up and on you. Amen.

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