"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night." (Exodus 13:21) God may not be presenting himself as a pillar of cloud in your
When you were a kid, did you ever lie on the grass and find the shapes in the clouds? Elephants, dragons, puppies, and even unicorns paraded across the summer skies!
Recently, on my commute home from work, I looked to my left to see the most amazing sight in the clouds!
Do you see them? The photo cuts the last one off, but there were SEVEN angel wings in the clouds! Does that give you goosebumps like it does me???
The funny thing about those images in the clouds is that sometimes we see something different than anyone else. Where someone else sees a horse, I would most likely see that unicorn. (I really like unicorns!)
Something New in the Cloud
After I told her of how God had redirected me to chase the dream He had given me to write and speak, my sister, Chelle, pointed me in the direction of a wonderful book by John Stickl, Follow the Cloud: Hearing God’s Voice One Next Step at a Time.
I immediately purchased the book on Audible. (As you become acquainted with me, you will realize I refer to Audible quite often. That is primarily how I “read,” because of my two hour daily commute to and from work.)
Anyhoo…I began listening to this book after finishing the one I had been listening to and was instantly pulled in! It was as if the author had been sitting in on my therapy sessions!
This book hit on LITERALLY every single struggle I have had in my faith journey. Every. Single. Struggle.
Very briefly, the Cloud refers to the way God physically manifested Himself as He led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.” (Exodus 13:21).
So to follow the Cloud is to listen to the voice of God, through His Word, the whisperings of the Holy Spirit, and often through the prophetic words of God’s people.
Following the Cloud is not always easy, especially if those around us cannot see the same images in the clouds we see. When what God is leading us to do takes us off the beaten path, others may not understand the choices we make or what we are doing.
And that’s OK!
Noah’s neighbors thought he was a lunatic for building a ginormous boat on land that had never known rain. (See Genesis 6:11-22).
If Abraham’s “two young men” had known what Abraham was planning to do when he took Isaac out on that little hike that day, they might’ve locked him up and thrown away the key! (See Genesis 22:1-18).
Just because the thing God has called us to do doesn’t make sense to anyone else (maybe even to us), doesn’t mean it is wrong. It takes great courage to do that thing!
It also takes a great deal of faith.
I encourage you to read this book if you have not already. In fact, I have been so impacted by the book that I am planning to give a copy away on my Facebook page soon!
More importantly, I encourage you to look for where the Cloud is leading you in your life right now. God has a plan for each and every one of our lives. He does not need us to fulfill His plans, but He wants us to be a part of it.
It is up to us to be obedient. I love what John Stickl says in the book, “…obedience is God’s love language. It’s how he asks us to love him. Every next step we take declares, God, I love you.” (Stickl, 2017, p. 146).
What do you see in the clouds? Are you willing to follow wherever God leads you today…even if it seems crazy to others?
I pray you will run hard and fast after the One who calls you by name! Chase the Cloud, my friends!
Stickl, John , Follow the Cloud: Hearing God’s Voice One Next Step at a Time, Colorado Springs, Colorado: Multnomah, 2017.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version ®, (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.