Friday, August 2, 2013

Discernment: How God Directed the Israelites

In Exodus 40: 16-21, 34-38, we are given information of how the Israelites knew God’s will for them. A “cloud covered the meeting tent and the glory of the Lord filled the Dwelling….Whenever the cloud rose from the Dwelling, the children of Israel would set out on their journey. But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go forward; only when it lifted did they go forward.” A cloud was seen during the day and “fire was seen in the cloud at night…by the whole house of Israel in all stages of their journey.” This was the presence of God in their midst. God also gave them the Ten Commandments and wrote the Law in their memories: “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts” (Jer. 31:33).

The Israelites did not go forward unless the cloud lifted. Imagine you and I heeding the clouds in our lives as a message from God not to make major decisions at that time, not to go forward when our minds are foggy, when we feel confused, when we really don’t know what to do or what to think. That is the time to recall Isaiah’s advice: “By waiting and by calm, you shall be saved; in quiet and in trust your strength lies” (Is. 30: 15). Also, then, imagine us following the directives of the Lord when “the cloud is lifted,” knowing that it is time to move forward , to implement a decision about which we are clear.

Like the Israelites, God dwells in our midst, in fact, God dwells in the very core of our beings. We are Temples of the Holy Spirit. God’s law is also written on our hearts and inscribed in our minds. The Holy Spirit lives within us “to infuse our knowledge with divine grace and guide us with divine creativity and wisdom” so that we, too, are able to stay on the right track on our journey to the Promised Land of Eternal Life with God (See The Word Among Us, July/August 2013, p. 51).

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