In this passage of scripture we see Israel as they journey through the wilderness after their dramatic deliverance from bondage in Egypt. God has been leading them by a cloud and a pillar of fire. These verses drive home the fact that israel did not move unless the cloud moved. In fact it says in verse 19 that even when the cloud "continued long" they did not move. In other words they didnt get impatient and think to themselves "Im tired of being in this place, we should go ahead and move on". No they stayed right where they were till the cloud lifted and moved, then they moved also.
What a great lesson. We may feel that things have been the way they are for to long. We may be waiting and wishing that God would do something in our lives. And maybe we are starting to grow impatient and we are tempted to take things into our own hands and "move" even though God hasnt told us to move yet. But just as Israel stayed put till they got direction from God to move so should we. It is a huge mistake to run ahead of God. Abraham got ahead of God when he had a child by Haggar. He should have continued to trust and believe that God would provide a son through Sarah as He had promised. But like us he became impatient and moved anyway.
Does God have you somewhere that you are tired of being ? Are you tempted to move without his direction ? Dont do it. You will regret it. Continue to be patient and wait for his guidance. Dont move till He tells you to. In these verses israel is a good example of how we should live our lives. Be patient, wait on Gods guidance before making decisions, especially big ones. When we do we will avoid the pitfalls and troubles that many have went through as a result of not seeking Gods guidance. When God says move, then move. When He says stay, then stay. And trust Him with the consequences. When you do this you will experience all of the good that he has planned for you (Jeremiah 29:11)
I think that today God speaks to us primarily through His word and His Holy Spririt. We must learn to be sensitive to the Spirits gentle guidance. And the Holy Spirit will not lead us to do anything that is contrary to the written word, the Bible. Also our circumstances can be an indication as to what Gods will is. Here again we must be sensitive to Gods voice. Not every circumstance is to be used as an indication of His will. All through the Bible people went against what their circumstances dictated, obeying God. Also God can speak through the advice of a godly friend. We are to try what they say and make sure it lines up with Gods word, trusting the Holy Spirit to help us to see the truth. If I had to choose one thing that represents the cloud today it would be the Holy Spirit. God bles you