Numbers 9: 15-23
The Cloud Above the Tabernacle
15 On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. 16 That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. 18 At the Lord’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19 When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s order and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the Lord’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. 21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. 22 Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. 23 At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out. They obeyed the Lord’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.
I used to love playing the game red light, green light as a child. The rules are simple but it brings such joy and laughter. You only need a large space to run in, and you simply listen to the leader on the other side of the field call out commands. When you hear green light, you move quickly in the direction of the leader. However, whenever red light is called out, you must quickly stop in your tracks. Anyone seen moving after red light is called is out of the game. The goal is to get from one end of the field to the other end where the leader is without being called out because you continued to move when red light was called out.
I love when the Holy Spirit brings up a childhood memory when reading the Word of God. This week, a daily devotion centered around Numbers 9. I immediately saw myself running on a field playing red light, green light; I laughed. The main idea always centers around focusing and listening only to God. If we can’t see this from even a simple childhood game, then we are truly missing the big idea. Matthew 18:3 says, “And he said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
I become so exhausted with the devil’s schemes that pull us away from both keeping our eyes focused on God and listening for His commands. Many of us wait for obvious deceptions or roadblocks, but I’m here to tell you that the evil one is really good at subtle twists of truth that you must always stay on guard. The enemy is even skilled at using those closest to you to accomplish his evil purpose.
I am participating in a weekly lifegroup that is studying Seedtime and Harvest by Charles Capps; I strongly encourage you to look this up and dig into these words. One thing that Charles said affirms Satan’s ploy to falsely mimic the very truth of God. This next paragraph is taken from Seedtime and Harvest by Charles Capps on page 17:
James said, “If any man seems to be religious, what he believes will be in vain if he doesn’t watch what he speaks.” There are many that seem to be religious, but they don’t bridle their tongues. They speak all sorts of things that destroy their faith and deceive their hearts…What they believed in the beginning will disappear because faith cometh by hearing. Fear also comes the same way. If you pray one thing and say another, your saying will nullify your praying.”
Stop the press! Wow! You see, the only way Satan can get you distracted to where you stop listening to the commands of the Father is to falsely mimic the Father’s truths.
~Instead of standing on God’s promises, you trade your security for fear.
~Instead of claiming your healing, you settle for a broken body due to years of bitterness and unforgiveness.
~Instead of stepping out in faith, you watch your blessings pass you by due to personal control.
The list is endless. God is standing at the finish line telling us when to move and when to stay, but we can’t hear Him! Sadly, it’s because we are listening to those around us tell us that we gave up! Others will claim that you let Satan win. These are lies from the enemy all because you found your true calling by following the Holy Spirit’s fire. Do not fear for Psalm 23:5 says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
I am here to tell you that the only voice you need to be listening to is that of the Holy Spirit. When His fire leaves the camp and yells “green light,” you best go! When His fire settles down for a night or even years and says, “red light,” you most certainly camp out and worship the Almighty wherever you are. The voice of the enemy in the form of “religious” men and women are noise in the presence of the King. We cannot grow weary for following the Lord’s commands and moving when He says move, speaking when He says speak, and following His ways wherever we go!
Dear believers, take up your cross daily and listen intently on the Father. Watch for the Holy Spirit’s fire and move with it. Do not be caught moving in the direction of Satan’s false speakers. Remember James 1:26, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”
Finally, don’t forget that those standing on the sideline of the game will be the very ones to taunt you and attempt to distract you to get you out! These sideline thieves will be friends, relatives, coworkers – anyone can be used. Never grow weary running your spiritual race. When in doubt, always ask yourself, “Would God say that?” In fact, you should always reference it back to His Word.
Challenge: Put on your spiritual shoes, line up, and get ready to win your spiritual red light, green light. God is on your side, but you must listen to Him alone.