Pastor Marcus Blair, Cornerstone Baptist Church
Judges 6:33-40 Have you ever asked God for a sign? I sure have. Many times in life, when we Christians face a big decision, we beg God to reveal to us the correct path. And let me be clear: it is NEVER wrong to seek God and want to know his direction for your life. But is it right to ask God for signs to confirm his Word? Read the story of Gideon in Judges 6 and you will find a wonderful examination of whether God gives signs.
Gideon met an angel, who assured him God would destroy Midian by his hand, he saw fire come from a rock, he destroyed the false idols and was not killed for it. He’d seen so much! He was experiencing God! But still, he doesn’t quite believe. He feels he has to put God to a test and ask for a sign.
If you had seen all Gideon had seen, would you believe? Be honest with yourself. Many of us have also experienced God and have seen even more miraculous and amazing things than Gideon, and will still ask God for a sign.
So Gideon puts out the fleece. God is so patient, isn’t he? He actually performs the sign. Sometimes God will show you something incredible and confirm for you the direction you need to go, or that victory is assured. Gideon wrings a whole bowl of water out of that fleece. That should be enough, right? SHOULD. But Gideon does it again: V.39: “Lord, please don’t be mad. But can ya give me just one last teeny sign, please?”
At this point, Gideon’s repeated requests for assurances and signs amounts to spiritual immaturity. When should Gideon have believed? When God SPEAKS we should take him at his Word. Some of us today are waiting on signs from God when he has already told you what you need to hear, he’s just waiting on you to have the faith to get up and GO. Some of this is born out of a lack of faith that God is going to be faithful to us. But I also realize that some of this waffling around in disbelief has more to do with our lack of confidence in ourselves and the strength of our faith.
We question, “Well, I know God wants me to do this. But what if I heard wrong? What if I misinterpreted? What if I’m believing a lie I made up, or the devil told me?” And you can wrap yourself in self-doubt until you are literally too tied up in your questions to actually follow God.
I do believe Gideon should’ve known better, and should’ve mobilized and followed God a long time ago, and had more faith. But God knows your need, and like a loving father assuring his children they’ll be fine if they jump into the pool, God provides encouragement in our lives and bids us to follow him. He knows the outcome is secure in him, even if we are scared and shaky about it.
The truth is, brethren, many times when we ask for a sign or other assurances from God, we have ignored something very important. It is a key truth of our faith, and I want you to catch it: much of God’s will has already been revealed in the Holy Bible, we just don’t know enough about our Bibles to realize it.
What does the Word tell us? It tells us that God loves us, assuredly, forever. It tells us God IS with us. We never have to ask, “God, have you left me? Are you with me?” He promised never to leave us nor forsake us! He told us to be strong and of good courage, and he would strengthen and see us through. He told us that in the valley of the shadow of death, we should fear NO EVIL but believe that he is with us.
Our trust is founded in the Word, it’s founded in the finished work of Jesus, and in who God is, not some miraculous sign.
So was Gideon wrong? Like I said earlier, it’s never wrong to want to know what God wants. I believe Gideon was simply immature in the Lord and needed to grow up a little in his faith. And if you’re asking for signs, maybe that’s where God is calling you today: to a greater understanding and a deeper walk with him.