Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. —Exodus 40:36-37
Sometimes it is God’s will for you to just stay. You may want to move on—but God may want you to stay. You may say, “It’s time to get moving. Let’s get the show on the road.” But God says, “Stay. In quietness and trust is your strength” (Isa. 30:15).
The ancient people of Israel had to learn this lesson. They had to learn to take their cues from the visible glory of God—the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day.
Israel was locked into this manner of direct guidance from God. They could only move when the cloud lifted. If the cloud did not lift, they stayed. No matter how tedious and tasteless that particular place in the wilderness might have been, they had to “stay put” until they were released to move on. The cloud did not adjust to the Israelites; they had to adjust to the cloud. It often takes as much courage to stay as it does to move. It may take even more faith sometimes to remain where you are than to explore a new geographical area.
It may not be mere boredom, however, that tempts you to move on. Sometimes it is opposition. Whatever the case may be, whenever God says, “Stay,” it is with a definite purpose. You will never be sorry when you remain where we are, even though you may not know the reasons at the time, if God says you must.
Excerpted from The Sensitivity of the Spirit (Charisma House, 2002).