Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground. (Judges 6:39)
“Lord, did I really hear from you? Or is it my mind, my heart, my flesh, legalism, or anything else shouting out, silencing the voice of Grace? Will you forgive my doubts? Will you speak and confirm your Word to me? Again? Please?”
That was the gist of my conversation with God one morning last week.
I had been wrestling about an issue, and honestly was not sure whether what I was hearing was God’s voice… or my flesh.
At this point in my faith walk, I thought it would be easy to discern.
But I must confess – it’s not. Not always, anyway.
There still are times in my faith walk when I tend to confuse God’s voice with legalistic decrees of men… or the desires of my heart with God’s direction.
This was one of those moments. And so, right there, in my War Room, unashamed, I begged God to confirm His Word. Again.
Bible open, eyes closed, I dared to say the words that would make some preachers cringe:
“Guide my hands to the answer, Lord.”
I waited for His prompting. Then moved my hands.
When I opened my Bible, my eyes rested on God’s mercy: A clear answer for my question.
Oh, good, patient Father…
66 books… 1,189 chapters… 31,102 verses…
The odds of my eyes resting on exactly what I needed to hear were slim to none. But God’s voice could not be clearer. He didn’t mind repeating it.
Grace spoke again.
I must say – this is not something I do often. I don’t usually use the Bible as the Urim and Thummim, casting it open to find an answer as if playing the Jewish dice. As a matter of fact, for many years, I found the practice almost… sacrilegious.
But Gideon’s story shows that, however method God guides us to use, the practice of asking for confirmation before moving is not sinful, if done when we honestly need to confirm the answer… or need the courage to press on when the task before us is scary.
There is no doubt Gideon’s heart was in the right place, otherwise God would not have chosen him to deliver Israel from the Midianites (Judges 6:12).
He was an unlikely judge and prophet, chosen from a household of Baal worshipers (Judges 6:25). He had seen confusion in Israel. In his own home. And so, he honestly doubted his calling, even after God had set a wet altar on fire, spoken through an angel, and repeatedly told the prophet that Midian would be delivered into his hands (Judges 6:11-27).
He doubted himself, not God.
He looked at his inadequacy, his long list of weaknesses, his family’s record of unfaithfulness to Jehovah, and wasn’t sure he had heard it right:
“O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” (Judges 6:15)
Shaking with the weight of his shortfalls and fear, Gideon asked for the sign of the fleece.
“Please don’t be angry, but will you say it one more time, Lord?”
I don’t know about you, but I used to have an ugly tendency to roll my eyes at Gideon when I read this passage.
You heard God’s voice. You saw an angel. You witnessed Baal’s altar destroyed. And Yahweh Himself said “Do not be afraid – you shall not die!” (v.23)
And yet, you need a fleece to help you move forward?
Tsk, tsk, tsk.
It’s true. I kinda judged Gideon a time or two. Shame on me.
Until. I too. Was not sure. I heard Him right.
Until He called ME – broken, inadequate me – to go forth in His Name. To do something that did not make sense. Something I could not do on my own strength.
“Can you make it dry this time, Lord? Just to make sure I heard you right. Pretty please?”It's not that we don't believe God. It's that we don't believe ourselves. Click To Tweet
I get so caught up in my own weaknesses and inadequacies that it makes it hard to believe that God would use a mess like me… Or I want something so bad that it makes it hard to believe that God would just freely give it to me.
It’s easier believing that I can’t. Or that He won’t.
But what I find most freeing about the story of Gideon is that God never flinched when Gideon asked for a sign that second time:
“God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.” (v.40)
Relief, relief. It’s ok not to be sure.
Has God told you to do something scary, my friend?
Or give up someone or something that you don’t know you can live without?
Is He calling you to fight an impossible battle on your own? Are you scared to move forward? Not because you don’t believe God, but because you don’t believe in yourself?
Take a moment. Breathe. Ask for another sign. A sure, unmistakable sign that will give you the courage to move on.
A sign to help you drive a stake on the ground, point it to the enemy and say: “I know that I know that I know – God spoke and it shall be done.”
It’s all right. God will not frown at you.
If you need the fleece to be dry on the wet ground – just one more sign of confirmation – His merciful hand will give it to you.
And when He does, move forward, trusting that He will make you the Valiant Warrior that He has designed you to be.It's alright to ask for another sign before moving on. Click To Tweet