By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.~Exodus 13:21 NIV
When we are in a tough season when, like God’s people were in Exodus 13, we find ourselves extracted from familiar comforts to wander in the desert. We are moving toward promise, but the journey is arduous. Things may look bleak, but take heart. God in His goodness graciously does not abandon us there.
Day or night the Israelites needed to be prepared to move when the pillar did. They were on a journey, but not yet at their destination.
During a long wait, it might have been tempting to put down roots and settle in. But the focus needed to be on following the pillar. To resist following brought the risk of feeling alone and without light, in the dark, desert night.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes.~Proverbs 3:5-7a NKJV
So it can be in our lives. We zealously receive God’s assignment, but then shift our focus from Him to the assignment. We forget we are on a journey, and we settle into a routine. Therefore we become upset when the pillar moves or the plan changes, leaving our project under-resourced and underutilized. This can leave us frustrated, resentful and shouting at the pillar to come back.
Is it time to catch fresh vision or pass the baton so you can follow God’s lead?~Julie Souza Bradley Lilly, contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships
Life withers when we persist in what worked in the past, in lieu of following God’s move, when seasons change, or when God’s grace for us in leading is being shifted to another.
Beloved, is something withering? Has the pillar moved and you lost sight? Is it time to catch fresh vision or pass the baton so you can follow God’s lead?
Are you following your desires, or God’s?
Father God, You have my attention. I plunge my roots into Your life and presence, not in the wilderness. As I move with You, may I release sorrow for what is left behind, and receive the challenge, promise and joy You provide in each new season. Help me to love You more than what strokes my ego or brings fulfillment. Cause me to remember that each step away from the familiar is a step closer to Your promised land. Lord, lead me. I will follow.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen. ❤️
Copyright 2021: Follow the Pillar: Julie Souza Bradley Lilly: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
JULIE SOUZA BRADLEY LILLY
Julie Souza Bradley Lilly is the writer of Prayers of a Ragamuffin Warrior, a self-professed chief-cook-and-bottle-washer at Gift of Thorns Facebook ministry.
She is a devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, specializing in the area of prayer, and a contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
When asked about who she is, Julie is quick to tell you she is a worshipper, a servant, blessed wife, step-mom of four adult children, caregiver, retired chiropractor, writer, and most-importantly, a forgiven daughter of God. With thirty-plus years in healthcare, Julie is passionate about seeing the broken come to receive healing and find wholeness in right-relationship with the Creator. Through her own multiple injuries and PTSD, a traumatic brain injury and other health concerns, she has found the generosity of God to be true to His Word in turning all things together for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
For those entrusted with a thorn in the flesh, one of Julie’s greatest joys is to see the discovery of the treasure the Father hides, tucked in among the thorns. Julie shares that God is good and His mercies endure forever. It is Julie’s prayer that the body of believers will honor the Lord and encourage one another toward wholeness, spiritual growth, and mountain-moving faith.
For more encouragement, visit Julie’s websites. At Prayers of a Ragamuffin Warrior, Julie shares encouraging articles with prayers. At Gift of Thorns, Julie and her contributor team share powerful and life-changing input, inspiring readers to passionately pursue God.
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