Once the people of God built the Tabernacle the began to build their live around the direction fo God. The most visible mention of this is their response to the cloud and fire. Wherever the pillar went, the people followed, even if the lillar was there only for a day, or overnight. In our mobile society we don't see the complexity of this. Each time the people of God broke camp and packed up the Tabernacle it was amajor undertaking, Rememebr that there were most likely more than 2 million people. Additionally the Tabernacle was not something that went up quick and easy. Yet, they followed where God directed.
When we turn the pages of our bible to the book of Acts we see the people of God following God yet again. This time it is not through a pillar of clouds or fire, it is by the Holy Spirit. Peter and Paul are probably the most identified in their obedience to the direction of God. Peter went to Cornelius, and Paul ended up in Macidonia. Because the wisdom of the Spirit was trusted more than the wisdom of God. For Paul most of his ministry was met with mixed reactions. There were very few places he followed God's direction that he did not face struggle. Usually within a short period of time in one place, the Jewish leaders would stir up trouble against Paul.
One of the last accounts we have of Paul's life is found in Acts 28. After trials, shipwrecks and snakebites, Paul ends up in Rome. While in Rome Paul continues to preach and teach about the Good News of Jesus Christ. But for the first time we read these words in the New Living Translation, "He welcomed all who visited him, proclaiming the Kingdom of God with all boldness and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him." (Acts 28:31 Emphasis mine).
I expect obedience to God's direction to produce immediate easy and benefit for my life. However, I must consider all that Paul went through on his road to his time in Rome. It was obedience over the long haul that brought Paul to the place where no one tried to stop him. I am ashamed to say that often it only takes one person saying no to side track me from what I know God is calling me to do.
Lord, help me. I know that I miss so much of what you hope for me. Take away my pride and need for the acceptance of humans. Help me this day and everyday to trust in you more than myself. May I consider it pure joy Lord, when I am told no when I am following you. Watch over me Lord, and draw close all your children, In Jesus name...