By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people - Exodus 13:21-22 NIV
I was shopping at the grocery store the other day picking up items for dinner that night when I saw an interesting sight. I observed this couple in the same aisle with me happily communicating with each other and having a really good time enjoying the shopping experience. Upon closer observation, I noticed something different. The husband was always a few steps in front of the wife and she would periodically place her hand upon his shoulder for guidance. She was visually impaired and was dependent upon him to navigate through the aisle. I stood back and marveled at how they operated together. On several occasions he would go ahead of her and pick up a few items and then come back to his position where she would be able to place her back on his shoulder and move forward.
Watching this scene unfold in the grocery store reminded me of how God guided the children of Israel through the wilderness using the pillar of cloud and fire. The pillars were a constant reminder of His presence. In addition, the pillar of cloud and fire served to protect them from the pursuing Egyptians. God is still with us as a guiding force and a source of protection. Unfortunately, many of us fail to utilize this guiding force that's a constant presence in our lives. Instead, we sometimes choose to go our own way, in the process creating unnecessary obstacles for us and our families that could have been avoided by following God and path that He's illuminated for us. As I've gotten older, I have come to realize that our Father is there ALL the time ready and waiting to guide you in this walk of life and serve as your protector. However, there are still times when I am wont to leave that path that's under the protection of God and go my own way. The beautiful thing is that we serve an awesome God and during those times when I veer off course, I have the opportunity to look up and see the pillar of cloud and fire to get back on course. You have that same opportunity to get back on the right path as well and the process begins with a simple request: asking our Lord to come into your life and being open to it.
ACTION PLAN: BEGIN THE TWOFOLD PROCESS OF HAVING GOD BECOME THE GUIDING AND PROTECTING FORCE IN YOUR LIFE BY ASKING HIM TO COME INTO YOUR LIFE AND BEING OPEN TO RECEIVING HIS WORD.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.