The process makes us richer, we comprehend this, but rarely do we eagerly ache for the process. We set ourselves towards destination, destination supposedly is where promise is, where we stand in our our identity and destiny, the place we are established. Yet, over and over, I personally, keep learning it is the journey from and to, even, most certainly, it is in the cloud, the shroud of the knowing yet unknowing of faith that’s we are established in step with promise. Our inheritance is not a destination but a journey of harvesting the riches, possessing the promises, this is the blessed walk of faith. A walk not by sight, but in confidence of our faith in Him.
As I began the year in Genesis, I’ve soon found myself with the Israelites in Exodus, being ushered step by step in God's favour.
“throughout all their journey, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle…” “the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way…”
The Israelites walked in, with the cloud, we do not know, but perhaps, they ached to see ahead, but it was not how Father ordained the way to the promise. He dwelt with them, moved with them, and they with Him, the cloud manifesting, an assurance He was and is and they could have faith for a new day because it was so. He provided His presence, He led, guided and provided, yet it concealed them, and the way. Yet, it was absolute kindness, and His favour that hid them.
When the cloud lifts we see, often in seasons of confusion or lack of vision we tarry against the mist, yet I have also found, there are also times we, in obedience, walk into the cloud. We walk in. We see and hear and respond. Our vision is no longer on tomorrow or beyond but on our feet and the present moment of enveloping and enfolding we lean into. Our vision becomes his presence not his promise, and we lean to feed on it, the mystery becomes our treasure chest, not the result of pillaging.
For nine months I have walked in His cloud, only looking back can I see when I entered in and the lifting off. He invited me in, it’s been a shroud, I’ve only been able to see what’s at my hand and feet. A mist. Laying weightily on what’s ahead.
It’s been hidden, lonely even, and at most really hard, yet paradoxically, at the same time it’s been beautiful, intimate and glory. The yes to His calls takes us in ways we cannot plan, prepare or even ask for. It is His unquestionable goodness and kindness often not to foretell of how it will be, but simply invite us in. The invitations are responses to our own heart cries, our desires and our devotions. Our response brings spiritual release, but our ways are not His ways and our thinking is not His. Great however is His faithfulness and close, wrapping, enveloping in His presence. His intimate and zealous intent for us, His own.
I saw the cloud, I heard Him call me in, I understood He heard me and know my longing for Him. I stepped in, and here with Him I walked. A great and terrible, intimate and lonely, powerful, humbling and tender response to my own desire.
And now I see, the very place of forming and gestation and becoming, though lonely and quiet, though overshadowing at times was in fact the response of His love and my heart, and as it lifts I see He made a way. I see that the landscape in which I entered has changed and a new season is subtly sprinting forth.
What at times felt cruel was in fact provision for he promised to be made true within me. Something I could not take by strength or might but by His Spirit alone. The cloud of glory, is a sacred place of covering and enveloping where the Father goes with us, walks alongside, holds us in His moments, as we heal, as we gestate and mature, as we become the very thing we thought we would take. Each step a step of faith, no longer in the promises, but in the promise giver. No longer fixed in taking the ground of the future promise but fixed uncompromising in affection towards the one who Is and will ever be. Because, His provision looks like Him. And when we say yes to Him, we must be willing to step forward, even if the cloud hides us from the success and tributes of man. When our heart aches for Him, May we be willing to respond, unfettered by the limits and boundaries we may construct, free to let His Spirit who began a good work complete it, perfect it and try it according to His goodness and love, according to the standard of His desire.
I can see the mist clearing the change at my feet.
These latter months I’ve had to let go of a lot of false comforts, a lot of false hopes, a lot of false confidences and strengths, the refining fire of His kindness came at a response to my hunger, as a response to my heart’s cries, yet I didn’t know it would be as it was. When Father asked if I’d step deeper into His glory, honestly I thought about all the opposite. I thought it would be a self prescribed ‘glorious’ breakthrough from the petitions of my heart. And in so many ways it was, it has been, the the physical obedience of being still in His presence, not rushing out, on, ahead of what is, to find a easier resolution in time brought the spiritual release, not ahead of His time, not ahead of His way. But letting each day be, bringing the pain, the falsehoods, the unknowns, the mystery, the loneliness, the perceived injustice, failures and all my doubts each day as an offering. This, what is in fact a costly offering, of devotion, because I knew and I still do, He was worth it, and everything he asked for I’d be able to give, however hard it was at times. I wanted Him to have it all, and in this season he tested that prayer, intention. Even as I write I know there will be, there is more to give. But I also know I’ve walked through this cloud of glory, gloriously difficult in a myriad of ways and I know his delight as my feet find the new landscape.
Because when we walk with Him, we learn the confidence of faith, and even in the face of fear we get to learn to step onwards. He is as He is, ever revealing Himself in goodness, kindness, faithfulness and persistently pursuing us as His own, choosing us to possess His pre destined, fore knowing desires towards us. We can learn, come what may, He is most truly worthy. My heart has known deep depths of pain, and he’s asked it to be my offering of worship, my mind has battled lies, He has asked it to be worship, My body fights sickness, I still worship with all I am and all I have, alone and in the throng. For sure He is worthy, He is true. The Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice. His ways are higher and His goodness knows no limit, it is our privilege to be grafted and rooted in Him, and to be rooted and grounded in Love, we must let go, lean in, surrender our own prescriptions and ways. We can but respond to Him, we can but recognise He is with us, in all things, and there is glory walking step by step in His presence, for moment by moment we are held, kept by His love. Love that is sure, perfect and faithful. We remember the beauty of journey, because it’s where we get to know Him more.