In Numbers 9, we're introduced to a strange guidance system, one that all of us would take if it was offered to us today. It was a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, and God used it to guide the children of Israel through the wilderness (see vv. 15-23).
What's interesting about this cloud is that it appeared to move on its own. Now, God was moving it, of course, but there were no turn signals or brake lights on it. When this cloud started moving, the Israelites packed up and followed it, day or night.
We read that "whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents. At the command of the Lord the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the Lord they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped" (vv. 17-18).
Wouldn't this kind of GPS be cool? You wouldn't have to question God's will for your life. You wouldn't have to wake up in the morning and say, "I wonder where I should go today"; you'd stay put until that thing moved. The Hebrew people were assured of the presence of God. In fact, the Aramaic term for this cloud actually means the residence. God was residing with them.
But did you know that we have something far better than they had? We don't just have guidance in life; we have the Guide living inside us. If you are a believer in Jesus, the Holy Spirit resides in you, even though you can't see Him.
It must have been incredibly exciting as an Israelite to look out from your tent and see that cloud start moving. "Hot dog, we're on the move. We're going somewhere. We're heading out to that Promised Land." You didn't know exactly where you were going or when you were going to stop or how long you were going to stay in any given place. It was that kind of an adventure.
Do you know that God has the right to take you on the same kind of adventure today? He doesn't have to tell you what He's going to do in your life. He doesn't have to give you a map. In fact, you can make a five-year or ten-year plan, but, as the Jewish proverb says, man makes plans and God laughs.
I'm convinced that following Christ is the greatest adventure in the world. You might not know exactly where or when or how—but you don't need to know all those things when you know who.