Keeping His Charge

“On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning.  So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night.  And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped.  At the command of the Lord the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the Lord they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp.  Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not set out.  Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they remained in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they set out.  And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning. And when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they set out.  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.  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 9:15-23

God gave both visual and audible aid to His people to ensure they walked with Him at His behest. His instructions were obvious and clear, and required that they hear the commands, watch the sky, and stay in step. Though they had their moments and seasons of squirming, He never abandoned His own, training them in long obedience over years of wandering.

How do we respond to God’s authority in and over our lives- with resistance, hesitation, or eager obedience? What need we turn from to attune to His voice and peel our eyes upward to behold His movement? How willing are we to yield to His commands when they rub against our desires, or temptation’s magnetic pull?

Do I prefer making and taking my own charge, or do I trust and embrace that of the good Sovereign? Camping and setting out with the Lord of hosts ensures days and years of fulfilling service, growing in grace and faith, and the joy of participating in His kingdom.

“A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.

To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill;
Oh, may it all my pow’rs engage
To do my Master’s will!

Arm me with watchful care
As in Thy sight to live,
And now Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give!

Help me to watch and pray,
And still on Thee rely,
Oh, let me not my trust betray,
But press to realms on high.” ~Charles Wesley (1762)

So be it, Lord.

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