Follow the cloud (Colin Brown)

Wednesday, 2 July, 2008

Colin Brown follows the cloud.

A number of pages in the Guide emphasise the importance of listening, particularly '360 degrees listening'.

Cloud and sunHave you ever wondered if the thoughts you have about helping God build his church are actually from him? I mean, how do we know that our idea is part of God's way ahead and will bear fruit that will last?

Many leaders of fresh expressions have learned that this 'discernment' is a constant challenge. Of course prayer plays a vital part. Not the sort of prayer that tells God what we want him to do, but prayer that is listening, as well as asking the way ahead.

The Israelites' time in the desert is a good example for us. Moses and the people had done everything just as the LORD had commanded them. They had built the tabernacle – the place of meeting where Moses really encountered the person of God.

Where do you go to be with God? Perhaps you have set aside a special time and place ... to share your deeper desires ... and to listen well to God, to get tuned in.

God gave the Israelites a sign. A cloud would show them when to move on and where to go. When it stayed over the tent, they stayed put. Only when the cloud moved, did they continue to the next stage of the journey.

What's the sign of God's leading for you? Maybe it's visible, like the cloud. Most likely it's more of a gut-instinct. Like the Israelites, there will be times of waiting and a time to move. It's a life-long lesson for all of us. Ask God to show you, and keep looking ... keep listening.

About the author: 

Colin Brown is a Church Army Evangelist exploring a fresh expression amongst the art community.

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