22 Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out. 23 At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses (Numbers 9:22-23).
The people of God sojourned from Egypt, where they were enslaved by the tyrannical Pharaoh, and moved toward the Promised Land. In the meantime, they encamped in the wilderness, moving only when God told them to. You see, as they set up camp, a cloud would go over the tabernacle and they would stay as long as the cloud stayed. When the cloud lifted, they moved. As Numbers 9:22 says, “Whether it was two days, a month, or longer time … .”– meaning they must stay ready to move the moment God was ready. They had to stay mobile. They could not settle.
Christ is the fulfillment of the Tabernacle, where the glory of God truly rests (John 1:14). In Christ, we find our rest. The Spirit comes as that cloud by day, telling us where to go and where to stay (as we see all through the book of Acts). We must never settle into our life, but always be ready to move when God says move, and to stay when God says stay. Abiding in Christ, finding our rest in Him, is the surest way for us to know when the Spirit is moving us.
Have you settled? Or are you ready to go and make disciples no matter what? Stay settled in His Word, rest in His grace, and go through the gospel doors He perpetually opens (Colossians 4:2-4). We’re reminded of this in this old A.C. Palmer hymn:
Ready to suffer grief or pain,
Ready to stand the test;
Ready to stay at home and send
Others if He sees best.
Ready to go, ready to stay,
Ready my place to fill;
Ready for service lowly or great,
Ready to do His will.
Ready to go, ready to bear,
Ready to watch and pray;
Ready to stand aside and give
Till He shall clear the way. [Refrain]
Ready to speak, ready to think,
Ready with heart and mind;
Ready to stand where He sees fit,
Ready HIs will to find. [Refrain]
Ready to speak, ready to warn,
Ready o’er souls to yearn;
Ready in life or ready in death,
Ready for His return.