Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Is It Time to Set Up or Set Out!?

Numbers 9:22

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.

It is so important to know when it's time to set up and construct something that will give you a place and purpose as you carry out God’s will for your life. Typically, when a person “sets up” something it’s because they are getting ready to do some business so as to be productive. After that business is over they take down what they set up and then set out. Sometimes, its not that clear to recognize when its time to set up or set out if you are not driven by “God’s Time” vs. "Man’s Time.” Our Time is not God’s time and if you don’t know what time it is you will not know whether it’s time to set up or set out.

If we are not careful we can set out too late, or set up too prematurely or miss our time to move all together. The distinguishing factor is the “Cloud!” No, not the iCloud but God’s Cloud. The Cloud represents God’s presence. Whenever the Israelites were to set up camp, God would rest over the tabernacle as a cloud. When it was time to leave, the Cloud would lift. Whether it was two days, a month, or a year they would not set out with until the Cloud left.

There are three different times to discern whether or not to set up or set out; to stay or to leave.

1. Two days. Some places you camp are just short term experiences that we try to make permanent. You are there to gather information and inspiration and keep it moving. Don’t allow weekend experiences to cause you to get stuck in a place where you were supposed to just be camping.

2. A month. Some relationships need to be on a 30-day trial period. In business you have 30 days to return a product if you are not satisfied. Run DMC had a song where Run said, “and if you find that you don’t like my ways then you can send me back in 30 days.” Dating ought to be an exploratory time where you see if it’s worth sticking past 30 days. Don’t waste time where God’s presence is not there.

3. Once a year. You should make a commitment to volunteer for a ministry or missions for a year at least. After a year you should ask is God’s presence still here or do I need to join God somewhere else? Henry Blackaby said, “In order to experience God you have to find out where God is and join him.”

It’s important to know where God is at all times so that you know whether to set up or set out. God is always moving but he doesn’t want you to always move. Don’t move until the Cloud moves. The Cloud is God’s presence.

Dear God,

Thank you for blessing us with your presence. I am waiting on you to tell me when you are ready to move and I’m listening for when you want me to be still. You are a very present help in the time of trouble and a shelter in the time of storm. I will follow your lead.

In Jesus Name,

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