Cloud = The Presence of God
In the Old Testament, the Israelites did not have the Holy Spirit like you and I do. They had to build a tabernacle, or a place for the Spirit of God to dwell with them. The only way they could tell the presence of the Lord was with them was by the cloud of the Lord that covered the tent of meeting:
“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
36 In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; 37 but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. 38 So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.” Exodus 40:34-38 (NIV)
Who do you follow?
I think we as Christians can get impatient with God pretty easily. We want to move and we want things to happen when we want them to happen. But the Israelites relied on the presence of God to direct their paths. They would not move until God moved. They didn’t know when the cloud would lift, but they had to trust that God would take care of them every step of the way. They were not perfect in this by any means, but it challenges me to wait patiently on the Lord until He says it is time to go.
What do you see?
There is another passage of scripture that talks about a cloud later on in 1 Kings 18. This was in the time of Elijah where there was a drought in the land for about three years. Elijah went to King Ahab to challenge the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah to prove that Jehovah was the one true God. After a miraculous display of God’s power, Elijah said to King Ahab:
“Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.
43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.
“There is nothing there,” he said.
Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”
44 The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”
45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel.” 1 Kings 18:41-45 (NIV)
Are you praying for rain?
In the light of our Hear the Sound event coming up in just a week, the Lord highlighted these passages to me to show me a profound truth:
There can’t be rain without a cloud.
As much as we want to see the rains of revival in our land, we can’t manufacture a move of God. True revival and outpouring of God’s Spirit can only happen when the cloud of His glory and presence rests on us. The passage from Exodus said that when the cloud settled over the tent of meeting, then the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. The tabernacle represents the Church. We have to yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit: let Him settle and be at home in our churches, and let Him lead us in every step of the journey.
Look for the cloud
Friend, there is hope. Whether you feel spiritually dry or on fire for the Lord, it is never too late to turn your eyes back towards Him. Look up, and look for the cloud. Just like Elijah told his servant to go back seven times to look for a cloud in the sky, we must do the same. There is a new day dawning, and we must have faith to believe and to see what the Lord is doing in our midst. And the best part is, once the cloud is here, He does the rest. He brings the rain, the lightning, the thunder, the power, the transformation! There is a song from some of my favorite worship leaders, David and Nicole Binion, that reads:
“Something’s moving, Something’s changing
See His glory, Feels like Heaven on Earth!
There is lightning and thunder; Miracles and wonders
The sound of many waters; Heaven on Earth!”
Can you see it? Can you hear it? Awaken your spiritual senses to be in tune with what God is doing! Let’s join in on the greatest move of God our generation has ever seen. Pray with me today:
Heavenly Father, we are so expectant and full of faith for what you are doing and what you are going to do in us, in our church, in all of the churches in Omaha, and in our city. We humble ourselves before you and give this event and this city to you. May we keep our focus on you, Jesus. Help us not to lose sight of what this is all about. It’s all about you and it’s all for you, King Jesus. May you be exalted and glorified. You are the name above all names and worthy of all our praise. May the banner we raise up high over Omaha, Nebraska be the name of JESUS.
We pray for salvation and life transformation in the hearts and lives of those who hear your gospel message. We know this is just the beginning of what you want to do in and through us. We make ourselves available to you for you to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask or think or imagine. We love you, Jesus. We ask and believe for all of these things in your mighty and precious name.
Yes and Amen!
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