When God Moves On
And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
The Lord led sister Tanya Hart to start a water bottling business. Through the years it grew and became successful. Tanya diversified from bottled water into real estate and expanded her business interests. About a year ago The Lord started talking to her about handing over her role in the business to her able business partners and entering politics. Her constituency needed better representation in the Senate and The Lord placed it on her heart to run for public office. In spite of the gentle push she received from the Holy Spirit and the words of prophecy given to her by complete strangers telling her that The Lord would have her in public office, Tanya made no attempt to go in the direction of God’s direction. She had so many projects lined up and entering politics would totally ruin her plans. She had acquired thirty acres of land to build a new estate. She had drawn up the plans and secured financing for the project. This was going to be her largest project and she wasn’t ready to give it up for anything else, no mater how strongly it was impressed upon her heart. The reality and truth of the present moment was that God had left the water bottling business and had moved on to something new. Tanya was stuck in her success, but God had moved on.
In our text, God led the Israelites by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. The cloud provided shelter from the vicious heat of the desert sun. At night, the fire provided warmth, gave them light and scared away wild animals. Whenever the cloud moved, the Israelites folded their tents, packed their possessions and followed it. When the pillar of fire moved at night, they did the same. The pillar of cloud and fire gave the Israelites direction.
That phase of Tanya’s life had ended. Her dream had ran it’s course. It had accomplished what The Lord wanted it to accomplish not only in Tanya’s life but also in the community in which she lived. Through that water bottling business she had given scholarships to hundreds of indigent students, launched community projects which alleviated poverty and helped to launch several small businesses which had become successful in their own right.
But that season for her to run this business had passed.
That phase of her life had come to an end.
That assignment had been accomplished and terminated.
That dream had been birthed in its fullness.
God had accomplished what he wanted to do through her life for that season of her life and now it was over. God was done with it and He had moved on to something new.
But Tanya wouldn’t let it go. She wanted to hold on to it, to keep pursuing it, to push it further, to stretch and expand it, to multiply its success. This was all well and good when God was in it. But he was done with that phase of her life and wanted to move her into a higher assignment but she refused to move on with God. She refused to move in the direction that God was going. She refused to leave the past behind and move on with the new thing God was doing.
This happens to us all.
Whenever we experience success in any area of our lives we want to bask in its glow, we want to flaunt it; to show our friends, family acquaintances and specially our foes how far The Lord has brought us. It is natural to want linger in a place or position of success.
God gave you an awesome job ten years ago. You rose in the organisation to become the CEO. Now The Lord is leading you to start your own business but you are unwilling to move from your past assignment and place of success. You have become entrenched in the organisation and leaving it to launch your own business is like cutting off a part of you.
You started a business and it is successful. The Lord has asked you to move on with Him but the assets you’ve acquired through the years have become too many for you to sell them and use the proceeds to launch a new line of business. Sometimes assets which were a blessing from God can become the very chains the enemy employs to hold us back from following The Lord and pursuing the assignment He has for us in this phase and season of our lives. Material assets and financial blessings can become the instruments of warfare in the hands of the devil to keep us bound to the place, people, business, ministry or career that God once used to bless us but has since moved on.
The Lord asked you to build a tent but you decided to build a high-rise building. The building is quite impressive and everybody admires it. However The Lord asked you to build a tent so that when it was time for you to move on you wouldn’t find it difficult to fold it up and go. In your zeal and desire to impress men, to let hem know that your vision is ‘awesome’, you went beyond the boundaries of your assignment and built what The Lord had not instructed you to build. Well, men were truly impressed by your buildings but it has become an albatross in the wheel of your progress because you cannot give it up to follow The Lord.
It is dangerous to be in a project that The Lord has left.
It is dangerous to continue to nurse a dream that has run its course and The Lord has terminated.
It is dangerous to be in a place where you no longer have the fire of God protecting you and giving you direction.
People may be impressed by big business, large factories, high-rise buildings, imposing church buildings and beautiful homes in neighbourhoods reserved exclusively for the rich.
But not God.
What impresses The Lord is our willingness to follow Him no matter what the new assignment may be. What impresses The Lord is our desire to ensure that we are moving in the same direction in which He is headed. What impresses The Lord is a heart submitted to do His will.
Some time ago I met a woman running a fellowship. It was laid on my heart to tell her that she should be ready to leave this fellowship for one of the leaders she had raised and go start a new one in another part of the city. She looked at me as if I was an agent of the devil. She had never considered the possibility that The Lord may ask her to reach out to other parts of the city and country and she would have to let go of this phase of her life and move on with God. This woman was totally unwilling to move from that position. You see, she had transformed a tent into a ten storey building and it was therefore almost impossible to see beyond that point in her life.
No matter what The Lord has used you to accomplish,
No matter how much success you have achieved,
No matter how great, powerful and influential you’ve become,
No matter how far you have gone in your career, business or ministry, you must always bear it in mind that The Lord wants to use you to accomplish more in life if only you will yield yourself to do His will.
There are pastors who are living in their past glory and success. The Lord has moved on and has left that phase of their ministry behind but they are adamant, stubborn and will not let it go. Your present success can become the enemy of your future if you allow it. Several years ago the pastor of a large church in Southern California packed up his family and moved to Asia. He put an associate pastor in charge of the affairs of the ministry. When asked why he left the immensely successful church, he said in essence that for him and his ministry God has moved on. He left the success of the past behind and moved on with God. But some pastors would rather die with the success of the past than move on with God to an uncertain future. This may be the reason why there is no life, energy or power in their ministries. God has moved on.
Let me assure you that you do not want to remain in a business, career, ministry or location when God is no longer there. When God moves on, He goes with His grace, wisdom, protection, provision, power and peace. The cloud protected and led the children of Israel by day and the pillar of fire went before them by night. Whenever the cloud moved by day and the fire moved by night, they folded up their tents and followed God. You may have a successful career, business or ministry but you have no peace, you have become restless and intensely dissatisfied with your life, it simply means that the One who blesses us with His peace, the God of peace has moved on. He has something better, higher for you to pursue and accomplish in this season and phase of your life. Acquiring more money, owning more assets, expanding your business or ministry will not resolve the lack of peace within your soul. Only one thing will resolve this issue and restore your peace. Seek the Lord, find out in what direction He is moving and move on with Him.