Numbers 9:17 Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.
Nik and his family were missionaries to Somalia during the 1990’s. Discouraged by the face of evil, they took a break and seek answers from the persecuted Christians. Nik traveled around the globe interviewing members of the church in oppressive nations. There, he heard story after story of God working all evil for good as described in Romans 8:28. Their stories continue to inspire many, fanning faith in the Body of Christ.
The book is amazing, ’The Insanity of God’, by Nik Ripken. Strange title, yet goes along with:
1 Corinthians 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
It’s such a fun way to describe how awesome God is, and how we don’t always understand His ways. (Nik’s site)
One quality, not specific to these Christians living under persecution but developed under immense pressure — is the gift to be able to follow Jesus’ very specific directions. (Hebrews 10:19-20)
When Nik’s plans changed he arrived without notice at a man’s apartment. The man had already set the breakfast table for his unannounced guests. He greeted saying, “The Holy Spirit told me that you were coming this morning.”
I’ve walked with God for years now, feeling nudgings from the Holy Spirit, but never to that extent. It’s very encouraging to pray for God to sharpen our closeness to Him. Nik says, “I cannot begin to number the stories about times when that sort of thing happened.”
It reminds me of today’s verse, as the Israelites travelled the wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land. They simply lived each day, following God’s lead. We discover though, from their time of wondering, not everyone survived for lack of faith. (Joshua 5:6)
How many of my actions bridge from faith, and how many bridge from unbelief?
For, Romans 14:23 says that whatever doesn’t proceed from faith is sin. What is faith but trust? And what is unbelief but mistrust, thereby trying to take control out of God’s hands, and searching for understanding away from God. Our faith is only as stable as the One we have faith in. And Our God never changes! (James 1:17)
I find comfort in fixing my eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of my faith. (Hebrews 12:1-6) Praise God we live under the New Covenant, covered by Christ’s blood and promise to never leave us nor forsake us. (Romans 5:19, Hebrews 13:5)
God doesn’t need us to follow Him. It’s for His good pleasure that He graciously gives us the freedom to follow Him. It’s also for our good, and the benefit of others. His plans surpass ours in every way. (Isaiah 55:8-9, Philippians 2:13, Romans 1:5, Romans 2:6-8, Luke 11:28, James 1:25)
Heavenly Father, thank-You for Your Holy Spirit that so graciously guides us. Let us not grieve Your Spirit by turning to our own way. Renew our ears and heart to follow Your Holy Spirit’s leadings. Whatever it takes, align our interests to Yours, for You alone are good. ~Amen.
Other verses:Ephesians 4:17-32
See also, “I’m Not Good Enough” for another amazing story of God’s leading.