Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out (Numbers 9:21b, 22 NIV).
Think about a faithful dog in a home. Imagine that the dog is lying down in the living room. The members of the family are talking with each other. Suddenly the Master of the house gets up to go to the lawn outside. As soon as he gets up; the dog also gets up. The faithful dog is ever watchful. At the first indication of movement it is also ready to go. This is the readiness that should accompany a child of God. He should be ever watchful to know His Master’s moves. Then he can also follow. The Israelites, likewise, were ready by day or by night to move.
Secondly, the Israelites did not plan the agenda. It was God who decided when to move and when to encamp. This is a truth much lost to the Christian world today. This has happened because the spirit of self-will so much taught in the secular world has penetrated the heart of a Christian. He feels compelled to act and do something soon. Therefore he finds it difficult to wait for God. The difficulty is much severe in the modern context where everything is fast-paced. But remember that you don’t have a choice if you have trusted God to make the moves. If at all you make the moves even after trusting God; that means you have a difficulty waiting for God.
Finally, where to go and where to encamp, was God’s decision again. See, God knows the mountaintops as well as the valleys. He knows the well-watered plains and also the parched desert sands. The choice of the next resting place would determine the direction God wants you to take. So obedience is required from your part. In other words, when God directs, you follow. It is orders issued and orders obeyed; nothing more and nothing less.
To sum up, three things are mentioned here. One, a readiness to move when God moves. Two, leaving to God the decision of how long (a brief period or a lengthy period) to stay at one place. Three, leaving to God the direction you are to take in life.