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The Spirit of God gives us clear guidance   best for His people. Some routes may
        as to where we should and should not go,   have seemed tedious or even arduous,
        with whom we should and should not be,   but if they obeyed God’s commandment
        and how we should and should not walk.   in the visible appearances of the cloud,
        We are not left to our own intuition to   whether stationary or moving, they would
        determine how to manage our Christian   certainly be in God’s will.” 5
        pilgrimage. The God who sent a pillar
        of cloud and fire for Israel “has sent the   The Faithfulness of the
        Spirit of his Son into our hearts” (Gal 4:6).   Guidance
        He is committed to leading us, and His
        leading will never contradict His own   Most remarkable in light of Israel’s
        written Word. As we walk by the Spirit   spiritual waywardness during their
        (Gal 5), yielding to His control, we will   wilderness journey is that God’s Shekinah
        know more of His guidance in our lives.   cloud never departed from them. God
        But keep in mind, if you want to hear   was faithful to lead His people then,
        the Spirit speaking to you most clearly,   and He is still faithful today. In fact, He
        read your Bible. And if you want to hear   will bring back the cloud and fire upon
        the Spirit speaking to you audibly, read   the cleansed nation of Israel itself in the
        your Bible out loud.  The clear guidance   Kingdom (Isa 4:5), because He is faithful
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        provided by the pillar of cloud and fire   to His word and to His people. We don’t
        teaches us that the Spirit of God gives us   need to point fingers at the people in the
        clear guidance today through His revealed   wilderness and ask, “How could they
        will in the Scriptures.               doubt? How could they complain?” We

        The Response to Guidance              do some doubting, and complaining, and
                                              disobeying ourselves. But God will never
          For all of Israel’s complaining and   take His Holy Spirit from us (Eph 1:13-14).
        unbelief in the wilderness, the words   If we grieve the Holy Spirit, our perception
        of  Numbers  9:15-23  are  precious  and   of His guidance will be hindered until we
        instructive. Seven times we read “the   confess our sin. But “he is faithful and just
        command of the LORD,” and twice “the   to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us
        charge of the LORD,” and in each and   from all unrighteousness” (1Jn 1:9).
        every case, across those 38 years, Israel
        obeyed the Lord’s command by following   The Spirit of God is determined to lead
        the guidance of the cloud. Sometimes the   His people. Some worry that because of a
        cloud remained only for one night and   mistake in the past, they are forever outside
        then began to move again in the morning,   the will of God, with no opportunity to
        and the people followed. How quick are   walk in full fellowship with God again.
        we to follow the Spirit’s voice? Sometimes   That is mistaken thinking. Learn from the
        the cloud kept them in one spot for many   pillar of cloud and fire in the wilderness
        days. How willing are we to wait, and   – God is faithful to lead His people. The
        wait some more, to know clear guidance   Spirit of God wants to guide you through
        from God’s Spirit? “In His perfect and   all the rest of your Christian pilgrimage,
        unerring wisdom He knew what was      until He brings you safely home to glory.
        ⁴ A modified version of a quotation that may   ⁵ John Stubbs, What the Bible Teaches: Numbers
        have originated with Justin Peters.   (Kilmarnock: John Ritchie Ltd, 2003), 127.

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