I used to wonder, “Why did Gideon lay out his fleece so many times in order to be assured of the will of God?” Did he not trust the first answer as sufficient?
I see myself reflected in this story. I’m learning to look more critically at myself instead of the Bible characters themselves. I can totally identify with Gideon! When I'm trying to make a semi-big decision, it's easy to set an ultimatum (i.e. "God, if this happens, then I will do this...." or "God, this certain thing didn't work out, so it must not be your will for me to ______.") But then when it happens, suddenly it does not seem like sufficient enough evidence to base it all on a circumstance, so I pray on another test that will be "the deciding factor" for God's will in my life. I must admit, it gets downright tricky!
The desire of my heart of hearts is to do what the perfect will of God is for my life. But sometimes, it truly IS hard to be sure that it's truly God's voice. I worry about whether my motives are pure enough, or whether I am putting the words I want to hear into God's mouth. God's will is not a blank check. I cannot just insert whatever I would most prefer and then thank Him for the slight input. That would be limiting His awesome power and sovereign plan (and last time I checked, my God is limitless!) He is completely capable of providing for my every need. And as His child, He wants me to learn to depend more fully on Him, even when all other securities are stripped away.
But how do I know to what lengths He wants me to go to prove and to stretch that dependence? The men of old like George Mueller and Hudson Taylor lived a life like that. Father, I pray that you would enlarge my heart in faith. As in a commentary I was reading this afternoon,
You want me to bring my faith to you....
Yet if I have no faith, you want me to bring even my doubts to you....
So that you may strengthen my heart to trust you more.
Whatever happened to the faith of a child?? It should not be this complicated, right? The sheep know the voice of their Master, and they follow after Him. They know when they are hearing another voice that is not the Good Shepherd. Dear Lord, give me discernment to pick out your loving voice above all other voices, so that I may know YOUR desire for my direction. I realize that at times you speak through earthquakes, and fire, and whirlwinds. But at other times, your voice is just a still, small whisper. Give me grace that I may not miss it.
* Wow, I wasn't planning to write this much! All these thoughts are churning in my mind. And as a side note, I hope you understand that I write this in a broad, generic way for a reason, leaving out the details. If anyone out there is feeling the same way I am, or wrestling with similar questions, I hope you will be encouraged in the Lord tonight, able to apply these thoughts to your own situation.
"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thy heart. Wait I say, on the Lord." Psalm 27:14