The types, shadows and parables which abound in the Old Testament all points to Jesus Christ, who is All in all and the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the earth. We cannot escape the fact that we are inextricably united to Him so that many of the processes we are taken through in the temporal have a clear and distinct goal, namely to expand our consciousnesses so that we in increasing measure can come to terms with His “allness” in everything, including us.
God led the Israelites out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and He led them through the desert by His Spirit who appeared as a pillar of clouds during day and a pillar of light during night. The pillars are a parable of how God in the desert appeared to the Israelites as in a separate visible form, as if He was another person apart from them. This is how we all begin our faith journey. We see God as a celestial power separate from ourselves. He is in heaven somewhere, whereas we are stuck in the temporal with all its apparent limitations.
However, when the Israelites crossed Jordan this separation gap had been bridged and it was no longer God external, but God internal, because in the instant they entered the Promised Land the pillars were gone. This is the exact same transformation or transition which takes place in us when we take that leap of faith Kierkegaard referred to. This leap of faith aligns our consciousnesses with what is and not what seems to be. This is a bold and daring maneuver on our part since we have to leave behind everything we know, that is, self-effort, and start a process of possessing or conquering a land of promises. It is here that we finally find out that Christ ultimately is All in all.
It can be no other way. A land of promises is governed by faith, and excludes any effort on our part. By faith we take what is ours to possess and lay hold on our inheritance among the saints. How can this be? When our ears are opened we hear “It is finished” reverberating through the ages. Christ has done it all and by us His word of reconciliation is dissipated to the ends of the world. It is by that same faith we recognize that God is the sustainer and upholder of everything. It is by faith we joyfully see that our nothingness is filled and is running over with His abundant life.
This renewing of our minds, or transformation of our consciousnesses, as it were, relocates heaven from the sphere of abstractions to a tangible reality, viz. in you and me. We have by a mighty work of the Spirit internalized the cloud and the fire. This further connotes that we no longer operate from a state of mind where we think we are led by a God apart from us, but we rest in the faith reality that God expresses Himself spontaneously and naturally as us. The pillars have in a sense reappeared to us in a new form. In our minds they manifest themselves as human beings like you and me.