“So they camped or traveled at the Lord’s command, and they did whatever the Lord told them through Moses.” Numbers 9:23
We didn’t give a lot of thought to it at the time, but our Marine Corps Drill Instructor’s (DI’s) were following a proven system that had been used for over 200 years. Their goal was to turn young, regular civilians into United States Marines. We just knew that from the moment we stepped on those infamous yellow foot prints, we better follow to a tee everything that sharply dressed drill instructor told us. I later realized that what often seemed like games to pass time, were actually teaching moments in their effort to bring us to what they called “Instant obedience and willingness to commands.”
Although God is certainly not a DI, His goal was to get the Israelites to the Promised Land, and along the way, He wanted to teach them how to follow Him. They had to learn that, on a moment’s notice, they would need to break camp, pick up everything and follow the cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night. Sometimes they would camp at a location for weeks, months, or a year; but sometimes it was only for a day. They had to learn how to resist the temptation to get too comfortable at their current local, and instead be instantly willing to move when and where God was leading.
The Apostle Paul learned this lesson as well. He knew God wanted to get him to Rome to preach the Gospel and he wasn’t about to let any distractions the devil threw his way stop him. From shipwreck to snake bite, Paul just kept on follow God and resisting the devil’s tactics to get him distracted. As a result, many heard and experienced the Gospel along the way, even in his final destination of Rome.
Today, let’s not allow ourselves to be dissuaded from following our Heavenly Father by either comfort or circumstance. As we stay focused and follow, we will grow, and others will be drawn to Him.