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Cloud and Fire

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
November 25, 2019 11:10 am

Cloud and Fire

The Verdict / John Munro

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November 25, 2019 11:10 am

Dr. John H. Munro November 24, 2019 Exodus 13:17-22

Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
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Lighthouse Baptist
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Grace To You
John MacArthur

Well this evening I want to speak about the guidance of God and our text is from X. This chapter 13 and were going to read from verses 17 through 22 in the series will concerning the life of Moses. The context is that the children of Israel had been delivered from the slavery of Egypt, the 10th plague of the death of the firstborn has fallen on Egypt and Pharaoh finally allows the Israelites to go.

The feast of the Passover as we saw last week has been instituted. Chapter 12 verses 15 through 50 and 51 all the people of Israel did just as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron on that very day the Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts. Finally, that they are redeemed. The slavery has gone and no they set out in fulfillment of the covenant to Abraham, to Isaac, and Jacob. God had promised not only to deliver the Israelite side of the hand of the Egyptians bought to use the language of chapter 3 verse eight to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey sure you've heard that expression Israel is a land flowing with milk and honey, that when we come to a passage here in nexus 13, the Israelites have not yet passed through the Red Sea.

I know most of us think rigidly leaving Egypt event right through the Red Sea, but were going to see that that is not the case. So they are free from Pharaoh. They are leaving Egypt and the question is, is God going to guide his people whom he has delivered what kind of God. Do you think that we have God surely is not going to leave his people to make their own way under their own devices to make their way to the promised land master.

This is God have plans and purposes for authentic followers of Jesus is God going to guide you through life. Suddenly, David thought so. In Psalm 23 he referred to the good Shepherd and he says he leads us in the paths of righteousness for his namesake. Psalm 32 verse eight I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you with my eye upon you how wonderful God not only saves us. He not only redeems us he guides us the consuls us. And yes, God has plans and purposes for life and God reveals his will to us as long as we keep her eyes on the Lord Jesus and obey him with an attitude of humility. I was mission at Calvary as being in making authentic followers of Jesus Christ. What is an authentic disciple, one who follows Jesus.

So as we follow Jesus you will never let us down to never lead us into unrighteousness, but always to life of blessing. Let's read Exodus 13 verse 17 when federal let the people go. God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near four God said Lester. People change their minds when they see water and return to Egypt. But God led the people around. By the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea and the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. Moses took the bones of Joseph with him for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear saying God will surely visit you and you shall carry out my bones with you from here and they moved on from soccer and encamped at any time on the edge of the wilderness and the Lord went before them and the Lord went before them by day and a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way and by night in the pillar of fire to give them light, that it might travel by day and by night.

The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, did not depart from before the people that are over three years ago.

Another than if you would remember. I preached a message on this passage and said then that spiritually speaking, the shortest 2 pints shortest distance between two points may be a zigzag and if you remember that message and the deathly silence descended over the congregation.

Okay, I'm sure my wife remembers I'm scared to ask her rights.

But the fact is that God sometimes leads us in a zigzag. We may not be prepared for. We may not be mature enough for a straight line. The Lord sometimes leads us as he's going to do here and not unexpected way to protect us from dangers and temptations as you follow Jesus. Haven't you discovered from time to time but God has led you in strange ways in unexpected ways. Some of these ways have been very difficult living quagmires. Moncton tops experiences and valleys. Yes, and sometimes we find yourself in the wilderness, but always, always, God is watching over us always. God is loving us always. God is caring for us, always God's molding us and equipping us so that we may become more and more like his son Lord Jesus Christ.

So let me assure you that in the zigzag situations of life you're still under the sovereign hand of God. I know you wonder why God doesn't let you from point a to be in a straight line. Why would there be this detour. Why would it be this problem.

Why would it be this delay. Why hasn't God acted in a way that you think you should direct in your timetable, but then we find that the zigzag times of her life are often the source of great blessing here.

Notice verses 17 and 18. God led Israel on the zigzag course verse 17 when federal let the people go. God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines that was a direct route, although that was near here is Israel delivered by the Lord from Egyptian bondage on the night of the Passover, led by Moses.

They leave Egypt and you can imagine the joy of being free from the harsh Egyptian taskmasters.

God has redeemed them from slavery. Another heading for this land flowing with milk and honey. It must've been so excited absolutely exhilarated. God was with them, God was acting on their behalf. Though no longer slaves. A brilliant future awaits them, but instead of going in a straight line to the land of the Philistines God led them around and by the way of the wilderness verse 18, toward the red if you know the geography, not part of the country you can imagine their surprise, but notice this. It was God who led God had not deserted them and thank God was going to guide them in a supernatural way, a continual reminder of his presence by day is going to provide a pillar of cloud by night it's a pillar of fire. This was a continual reminder to the Israelites as they traveled through the wilderness to the promised land that God was with them know he did not leave them in a straight line. Yes, they were going to be unexpected difficulties in the journey there were going on a zigzag course by way of the wilderness. This was the shortest way it was in the most obvious way if they have GPS, then that would not of that would not of gone and the zigzag course, but it was the best way and it was God's way you find, I'm sure you have you been following Jesus Christ for some time, but God sometimes leads us by way of the wilderness. No one wants to be the wilderness. It's hot. This barn is lifeless out of this desolate Lord lay the place of wild animals is fraught with danger bots God led them by way of the wilderness and God does remarkable things in the wilderness. Surprising things. After all, Israel's leader Moses himself had a remarkable experience with God and the wilderness are member the fighting Bush and Axis III the militants. Moses was going to receive the 10 Commandments in the wilderness.

The great prophets Elijah, John the Baptist spent time in the wilderness a lot of time in the wilderness Lord himself was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness ready fastigial to call for 40 days when he was tempted by our enemy and when he was minister to buy angels yes in the wilderness, spiritually speaking of you spent time in the wilderness, you may feel you in the wilderness right now. We may try to avoid the wilderness less understandable to somebody presence we may doubt that this is a good place but the wilderness is a place where we meet God.

Wilderness is a place where the Holy Spirit often gives us insights into ourselves and his word.

Wilderness is often the place when we wrestle with the enemy, and although it's a very difficult place is a tough place to be.

Often is a very good place for us so Don presents zigzags of life. It was God who led them don't be wiser than God don't think that you know better than God. No one can cancel God is infinite in his wisdom and is infinite in his love, and so these situations which appear to slow us down, which appeared to be a setback, which appear to be the most difficult, challenging, sometimes humiliating and lonely times in our lives. These wilderness experiences you find that the often produce fruitfulness. Praise to God. Humility, self-control, a deepening of our faith, listen to Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse two and you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these 14 years in the wilderness that he might humble you and will need humbled here testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments are not and he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord your clothing did not wait.

I told you underfoot did not swell these 40 years know then in your heart that is a man disciplines his son the Lord your God disciplines you ever been aware that your heavenly father is disciplining you your experience that I'm sure many of us have. It's it's tough is its it's humiliating. None of us like discipline but God sometimes does in order to conform us to the image of his son because in the wilderness would often stripped of our pride or self-reliance or selfishness ourselves will trying to play God in our lives trying to play God perhaps in the lives of others and then the extremity and desolation of the wilderness.

We understand that, perhaps, as we never understood before, the deceitfulness of arson in the matchless grace of God I think of I invited some of you, you could testify of these experiences which were very, very hard, perhaps very lonely to feel God has forgotten you. It's not blessing you the way you would like that doesn't lead you the way you like zigzags of life that I want to ask you two questions. First question is what is God's will for your and secondly how do you know God's will. Well first of all and very foundational. He God's will for you is that you're trusting in the Lord Jesus as Savior and Lord.

You say that's elementary. It is elementary but is absolutely vital we are to live by faith, living by faith is not just a message for the unbeliever coming to Christ. It is a way of life.

But let me say that God's will for your is your saved you been saved by the grace of God. Peter says in second Peter 39 that God doesn't wish that any should perish but that all should reach repentance that is God wants us to be saved in the great love he has provided for our salvation through his son, our Lord Jesus Christ who comes not to condemn us to save us, to liberate us and he comes to seek and to save the lost and we heard this morning if you're here for the baptisms. That little girl Joanna quoting from acts 16 verse 31, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. That's it is God's will for you that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Not just that he exists, but that you appropriate Christ that you come to Christ. After all he's calling for you to come coming to me and we, and we respond and we individual encounter with the living Christ died, was buried, and rose again. He is the only one who can bring you to God. Peter said he's the just dying for the unjust, that you might bring us to God, so God's will for your first is that your saved you not safe tonight would be overjoyed to point you to the Savior. We have come to Calvary for a long time. You have these baptisms this morning. You think you know these people spoke about of a personal faith in Christ and I just don't have that I don't know Christ I'm looking at him from afar and then secondly, God's will for you is that you daily surrender to Jesus Christ. One of our theme. Sadly for our staff. I trust for all of us is we started the new year with thinking of Romans 12 and it was to accept the challenge of total commitment to Jesus Christ from the challenge beginning of this year. Romans 12 one. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship to the requested in your life is not your mate on what college you go there's not what job you have is not what you should buy these are not the big issues so I thought there were not really the big issue is the you know Christ.

Second big issue is just surrendered to Christ by accepted this challenge of total commitment. Do I say like Paul when he was saved. Lord, what would you have me to do you really in life looking to do God's will. Are you looking for God to fulfill your dreams that you got your ideas in life and you want God to bless you and your God, to make it comfortable so that you can achieve your goals. That's totally the wrong way.

God's not some kind of genealogy of the bottle that we just use that return enter in the emergencies the difficult circumstances of life used to be central to our whole bodies are whole life of whole resources are committed to Jesus Christ. Jesus said if you want to follow me through the first thing deny self. It's hard for us in the say no to self deny self, take up your cross and follow me prepared to deny self, how can you follow Jesus, I can you really know his will deny self. Note to self. And yes to Jesus. This is God's will for your this is can I say the big battle for us every day of the life of every day of her life attempted to do what we want to do rather than what Christ wants us to do.

Jesus said seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to the worry about these things secretly first put God first in your life committed to Jesus Christ and all of these things will fall into place.

And when you do that when you surrender your life, your resources, your ambition, your future, all you have, to Christ, you will have little problem in discerning his will when J Wilbur Chapman was in London the opportunity to meet general booth.

He found the Salvation Army many years ago, Chapman said that this time general booth was over 18 years of age and Chapman listened to general booth as he spoke of the trials in the conflicts and victories as he organized the Salvation Army. Many of you know the story of its beginning.

The evangelist then asked the general if he would disclose his secret for success. Chapman rights he hesitated for a second and I saw the tears come into his eyes and stilled on his cheeks and then he said I will tell you a secret. God has had all that is of me. There have been men with greater bit brains than I men with greater opportunities but from the day I got the pool of London on my heart and my vision of what Jesus Christ could do with a pool of London. I made up my mind that God would have all of William booth that was and if there's anything in the Salvation Army today. It is because God has all the adoration of my heart all a part of my will and all the influence of my life. Chapman said he left that meeting with general booth realizing quote that the greatness of immense power is the measure of his surrender when we are weak, strong surrender to Christ, you accepted the challenge of total commitment to Jesus Christ. This is God's will for you now. Also think of the subject of God's will, God's will is revealed in his work God has spoken. He's given us his word in written form in the holy Scriptures and God's word is truth. If I want to know how to live my life.

I want to know the priority dates if I want to know what I should do I need to know this book. It's God's letter to me. Jesus says in John 17 verse 17 in that great high priestly prayer of Jesus to his father your word is truth.

Paul says all Scripture is inspired by God breathed out by God and find, sadly, that more and more Christians are making their experience of God, foundational, rather than the truth of God.

I am certainly not denying people's experiences and feelings. These experiences these feelings are part of the Christian faith. We have emotions we have feelings that is true, but we must be very very careful that my experience doesn't become the source of authority arises much more exciting to talk of personal experiences what God said to me, rather than the discipline and the joy of studying the living word of God.

Imagine this morning instead of like into platforms that are saying let's open your Bibles to Ephesians chapter 4 I said I'm going to just share my thoughts with you. I want to share my heart and share my journey and I give my experience, many people I would find it interesting. Possibly some of you might find it very boring. I don't know but we all have experiences, but truth is found not in my experience, it can vary I can have good experiences and bad experiences. The question is on the biblical experiences people justify all kinds of behavior all kinds of thoughts all kinds of theology based on what they think, based on their experience. I would you ever validated know we are committed at Calvary church to this book. This is the word of God.

God's will is revealed in holy Scripture and must be obeyed and this is why we spend time reading the word of God studying it, preaching, teaching, counseling, people from it because of our firm conviction. This is the absolute truth. I find sometimes people come for a pastoral counseling obtain counseling from other people very happy to talk about their experience.

They know all of the psychological terms for their situation, but often they haven't read what Scripture has to say on the subject that amazing a problem situation and this addressed in Scripture when to be humble to study the word of God to meditate on it and say where is God in this. You see, if you truly love God you will be motivated to read and to understand and obey his word. The end of the sermon on the mind. Jesus told the remarkable, possibly by the wise men of the foolish man. The parable Matthew seven verse 24. Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock where is spiritual wisdom on this matter of doing God's will.

It's hearing Don's well, hearing Don's voice and doing it the foolish man hears, but doesn't do it. Listen to Peter in first Peter chapter 1 talks about the living and abiding word of God quotes from Isaiah 40 verse eight and says all say the grass withers, the flower falls with the word of the Lord remains forever. And then he says this in chapter 2 verse one put away all malice and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander is that God's will is it God's will that you put away all malice, all deceit, all hypocrisy and envy, and slander after I preach this morning I had conversations with many, many said thank you but it's hard to forgive this. It's hard but you to do it that's that's the will of God for you when you hear the truth without forgiveness or any other subject. You are humbly to obey you can rationalize and say this is difficult. I don't really want to do it.

This person has injured me for a long long time. And why should I forgive them the command. This forgive them the command. This put away malice and deceit doing business in your deceitful.

Maybe you're making a lot of money to being deceitful and hypocrisy, and me, slander, and then Peter says in verse two like newborn infants long for this pure spiritual milk that why it you may grow up into salvation. If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Just as a newborn baby wants mother's milk. So we are to have the strong desire for the milk of the word. The word of God. Peter said, and this is the way that we grow and this is the weekly case that the Lord is good to get it. This is the way we grow. This is God's will for us reading and studying the word of God. I realize, is more exciting to hear some preacher talk about their personal experiences and the voices they heart and divisions they heart and I realize God is all-powerful and God couldn't guide us by a special vision or sign or even give us counsel by a donkey as he did bail him. However, I don't have a donkey in my backyard waiting for God to speak to me through the donkey. That's absurd, isn't it, how does God guide us. How does God come so last in his word and the demonstration of your love for Jesus Christ is not what you say is not what you say but is what you do. John 1415 if you love me you will keep my commandments. How can you say you love Christ, and you don't obey him, how can you be so concerned about what school to go to work. What hosted by if you're not obeying the commandments of God is not so exciting to hear the testimonies this morning they were obeying the commandments of God. Some of them said, quite frankly, that this is been a struggle with them but I'm still been overhears this a demonstration of our love for God that we will be his commandments as if some area in your life for your disobedience and could it be that you've got your perspective all wrong.

You want get God's guidance in your business. You want God's guidance in your personal life, but in your life that is this region's three John verse four I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Walking in the truth.

It is why obeying God that we receive his blessings. Psalm 19 verse 11 says in keeping your word that is great reward hears the path of blessing, love God's word, memorize it. Think of Deuteronomy 6 on your heart teach it to your children mind as a sign on your hand. All of these different ways of saying know the word of God proclaim the word of God graded on your door posts and your family. Not just at the devotional time, but all of life that it is focused on God's word that if your parents that you are saying. With God's help in this house were going to honor this book were the love Christ were going to obey his commands, some 919 verse 11. I've stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you, King James, I've I've treasured your word in my heart that I have notes sin against you look back at Exodus 13. Think of it. You're one of the children of Israel, and the very presence of the cloud by day and the pillar by night would give you great security and comfort. Wouldn't you get up my not be able to sleep one night and you get idea tend to newly cup and you see the pillar of fire in the morning going about your business or laptop. You see, there is the pillar of cloud was a visible expression of the glory of God that God was with us that God is guiding us. I'm sure the fathers would say that little boy like that God is guiding us.

Don't fear God is with us even particularly during the zigzags of life know when the cloud and pillar moved, they moved when the cloud and pillar stopped. They stopped turnover to Exodus Farley.

The last chapter in this wonderful book of Exodus with the completion of the tabernacle, there's the Shekinah of glory over it.

Ask this forte. Verse 34 then the cloud covered the tent of meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle and Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the claim settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel was set out but if the client was not taken up.

Then they did not set out to the day that it was taken up for the details of numbers nine versus 15 through 23, when the cloud moved they moved when the client stopped, they saw. I think this is a very important principle of guidance is one I've tried to practice in my own life. Stay where God has put you not talking happy about being in a sinful situation.

Obviously, but stay with the Lord has laid you until he moves you elsewhere. From time to time no hear someone live quit the job is not like it retirement and you said I wouldn't employment have you gone to. I don't know what strange and you hear of someone leaving the church, and you say not way which over time to tell Richards what which was church are you going to owe me. We don't know just looking around two years there still looking around nothing. That's the way the guards guides us.

Let your moves determined by God. The major colleges only get employment. Don't leave your ministry until you know where God is leading you almost 14 years, God led two copper church people sometimes say to me how long you're going to stay here when they ask that you think. You want me to go just to say when you retire or what your plans and so I don't really know but I do know this. The God led me here and until God makes it very clear where my next ministry should be a God to make that clear the split second stay here. This is what God led me. Why would you when you have the assurance that God led you in a particular situation. Why would you leave that situation until you're sure to use the analogy here and ask this, but the climate has moved that the pillar has moved and noticed the Israelites didn't receive the cloud by day or the fire by night until they had been redeemed until they were covered by the blood of the Lamb. The pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire, were not visible to them when they were in Egypt know it was after they were redeemed. That is, those saved by the blood of the Lamb are given supernatural guidance and I want to assure you, brothers and sisters.

You and I get a follower of Jesus Christ have supernatural guidance. In fact, a greater guidance than the cloud or a five you say what you're faring to. I'm saying that every true believer in Jesus Christ has received the gift of the Holy Spirit Julys of the Holy Spirit is God that when we say God indwells us. He gives us his Holy Spirit. John 14 verse 17 Jesus taught his disciples.

Verse 16. I will ask the father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever, even the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.

You know him, for he dwells within you and will be in you. I'm in throughout by the Holy Spirit. Romans chapter 8 Romans eight verse nine you, however, are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.

Anyone who does not have the spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

One of the invariable distinction.

This distinctives of the authentic follower of Jesus Christ is that he or she is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. I realize there are people who teach differently from that but that is clear from Scripture verse 14 of Romans, it it for all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God the Holy Spirit's God himself who indwells us leads us and guides us the convicts us. He shines on Christ. He comforts us. He cares for us. He illumines the word of God. And yes, he guides us and sometimes with zigzag pulsating. Galatians 5 verse 25 if we live by the Spirit. Do we live by the Spirit.

Yes, if you're a true believer. You live by the Spirit if you live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the spirit good translation we have received the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

He gives us this life is what it means to be born again to be born of this better than that of the word, and so now I'm indwelt by the Spirit, and I am to keep and stab with the spirit you keep in step with the spirit by live a life portraying the fruit of the spirit live a holy life live a life that is fixed on our Lord Jesus Christ and as I surrender my will to God and is as I live day by day a life that pleases God. God is well well able to guide me. He leads us to circumstances. He leads us to the Council of others and he leads us supremely in his word, which is the witches are infallible guide the frame to know the word of God had to memorize it.

I am to obey it. Every day I to surrender my life to Jesus Christ, realizing that as I follow him and that's what it means to be a disciple as I follow Jesus Christ. He knows best in his way, is often not my way and he surprises us. That is true but is going to lead us in the paths of righteousness for his namesake. Did you know this is a red X. This that Exodus 13 verse 21. This is a good it says on the Lord went on to client, but the Lord goes before you.

God is faithful to his promises doesn't affect us in the wilderness doesn't present us in the zigzag journeys of life. Jesus promise in the great commission of end of Matthew 28 will I am with you always, even to the end of the age. And as Israel was guided by a cloud by day and the pillar by night soul. God guides us and will guide you, my dear brother and sister through your zigzag experiences with the word of God is our guy made a light to our path with the word of God and with the indwelling spirit. You don't need to fear, you'll need to worry you're going to have perfect guidance. Live by the spirit live a holy life. Keep your eyes on Jesus and God will guide you as long as you keep your eyes on Jesus this Thursday lunch. I had the privilege of speaking to the seniors spoke from Psalm 16 says that in verse eight I have set the Lord always before me. We do that, you've got decision to make that your will is God's will set the Lord always before you.

The Lord goes before us long before I came here, Lord was before me. Think of your own life. Think of the circumstances. Think of the unemployment figure for your state. Think of your family situation. Think of all of that, that the Lord goes ahead of you and this means than that in the zigzag experiences of life. We don't be discouraged, you will discover that what may be the most difficult times in the zigzags of life was the time of the richest blessings of God, some 18 verse 30. As for God's way is perfect. You and I can make terrible blunders country we can make terribly foolish decisions. But as for God's way is perfect.

He's with us. He guides us.

What am I to do that for them to love him not to trust my heavenly father knowing that just as he guided his ancient people through the wilderness, he will guide you and all the way my Savior leads me what have I to ask for site wonderful to know that your Savior is leading you this, my song through endless ages.

Jesus led me all the way to Verizon Jesus. Make sure you have a living faith with the living Christ daily surrender to Christ live a godly life allowing God to use you and you produce in your life that beautiful fruit of the spirit and then when you face these decisions and they will come you didn't fear make a wrong mistake but he's going to be with you for no and forever help us father to do your will. Little self-willed, like sheep have gone astray, turning total in the way thank you for the conviction of your word. Thank you. It keeps us clean and cute that it keeps her focus on Christ, pray for everyone here father that they will know your will that they will be saved, that they will surrender and that they will know the filling of the spirit as they seek your guidance, your protection, your help and all of the circumstances of life in Christ

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