Pillars of Faith

Bill Brinkworth

As Moses led the people of Israel away from their bondage in Egypt and to the land God had promised them, they were not alone.  God escorted them.  He manifested Himself by a pillar of cloud by day.  At night, He made His presence known as a pillar of fire.
“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: 22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” Exodus 13:21-22

That column was the visible presence of God for the people. It gave them guidance as they traveled during the day, and became a light for them at night for their comfort and security.  God was always with them, and they saw it.

After the people of Israel had constructed the first “church” in the wilderness, called the Tabernacle, it was God’s glory that filled the place of worship (Ex. 40:35).  Even Moses had to leave the Tabernacle, when God’s holy presence was in that place.

When the column of cloud, moved away from the Tabernacle, the people broke camp, disassembled the Tabernacle and followed it.  God physically led them through the wilderness (Ex. 40:36).  They knew God was close at hand.  He led, and provided for their needs.

Today, there is no longer a need of the Tabernacle, as the born-again (John 3:3) believer is where the Spirit of God dwells (I Cor. 3:16, II Cor. 6:16). There is no longer a need to have priests intercede for us before the Father as was done in the Tabernacle. Jesus is our High Priest (Heb. 3:1, 4:14, 6:20).  We are also clearly commanded not to follow by sight, but to live by faith.  Following by sight is even displeasing to God (Heb. 10:38)
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Heb. 11:6
“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Rom. 1:17  Also: Gal. 3:11, Heb. 10:38.

Faith today is not as empty and imagination-led as some misunderstand it to be.  There are physical and many times tangible proofs of faith.  Some of the verifications that God is leading the Christian can be found:

Not heeding the convicting Spirit will often rob a believer of peace, and an uneasiness will quite often cause the believer to repent of a wrong-doing and alter a course more pleasing to the Lord. Although an audible voice is not heard, guilt and shame from breaking God’s commandments are very powerful deterrents to committing sin and help create a life pleasing to the Lord. 

Violent lives have been exchanged for one that is calm and at peace with himself and others. Alcohol or drug dependent lives have been swapped for ones that no longer require stimuli.  Non-productive lives have been converted to ones that makes positive changes in one’s life and others around him. Terrible parents have been corrected to being those that faithfully and lovingly raise their families. The number of lives that have been changed by letting God’s Word guide and direct their lives is countless.


To a disobedient, unsaved person, obeying God’s commandments does not make much sense.  Much of the time, what the Bible says to do seems contrary to what the world has taught will make a successful, happy life.  However, if one makes the step of faith to totally trust God and let Him lead, it will alter lives. 

Any step of faith is blind, but after countless proofs, God's guidance is as real as the column of cloud by day and column of fire by night!  Who are you going to believe?  Are you going to believe man’s recommendations that have proven to be unsuccessful most of the time and are constantly changing, or are you going to believe God’s wisdom that has successfully raised trillions of believers? 

“Faith is kept alive in us, and gathers strength, more from practice than from speculations.”   — Addison

This article was featured in The Bible View #640.

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