Gideon was learning to fear the Lord and to listen to God’s voice of truth instead of fearing the oppression of his enemies.
Gideon was learning to trust in the Lord, and to not lean on his own understanding.
He was learning to surrender his scarcity as a sacrifice to God.
He was gaining courage as he cut down his father’s idols and restored worship of the One True God.
Gideon was being prepared to be the “mighty warrior” God called him to be. His true was beginning to line up with the truth of God.
When the enemies joined together against the Israelites and they began to move into battle position the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with power and he blew the ram’s horn as a call to arms. He sent messengers to summon all the warriors to gather.
Has this ever happened to you? The dream, the desire, God put in your heart begins to unfold, begins to be set in motion. You see what needs to be done and you begin to move out in obedience as the Holy Spirit gives you power. But then, the reality of what you are being called to sets in. You begin to see the difficulties surrounding you, you begin to feel overwhelmed, and all of a sudden you doubt whether or not you actually heard the call of God.
“Did God really say?”
“Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.” So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.” Judges 6:36-40
“If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me…”
Gideon was moving out into God’s calling, but when he saw the armies of his enemies lining the hills across the valley and he saw the much smaller number of Israelite warriors gathering; fear, scarcity, and insecurity came upon him. He saw his situation through his eyes, through his true.
Gideon needed to know there was a greater truth than what he knew to be true.
For Gideon to trust God and to walk out in the calling God had for him, he needed to see evidence of God’s power.
So Gideon came up with a prayer that asked God to do something that was beyond his true to prove God’s truth.
When God asks something of us; whether it is to obey His commands, to trust His ways, or to follow a calling in our lives, it seems we often try to figure it out on our own. If it doesn’t make sense, doesn’t line up with how we feel, or just seems way too hard we begin to justify or reason it away.
How often do we listen to our true and allow our own understanding to keep us from obeying God? It is amazing how we can come up with good sounding reasons as to why we just can’t follow through with what God asked us to do. Often our reasoning causes us to think our own understanding is better, safer, but it is relying on our own ways that keep us in the winepress. It may seem to make sense and it may feel safer than following the calling of God, but we will remain in our fears, scarcity, and insecurity and never experience the thrill of victory God had in store for us as His mighty warrior!
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”Isaiah 55:8-9
God’s ways don’t make sense, they won’t line up with how we feel, and they are beyond what we can do on our own.
Though God is so much greater, and way beyond us, He understands us. He knows that we struggle with fear. He knows that the enemy can look overwhelming and that we would rather stay hidden away in the winepress.
But since God made us He knows what is best for us. He knows it is for our good to face our fears so that we learn to fear Him and not the things of this world. He knows it will go better for us when we trust in Him and not to lean on our own understanding. He wants for us to surrender our inabilities so He can empower us to do greater things so others will see it is Him working through us.
God was patient and kind towards Gideon and He is the same with us. Some are hard on Gideon. Some think we shouldn’t ask God for signs today. I don’t know about you, but I have put out fleeces and I have asked God for signs.
I believe it is the heart behind the asking.
The motive in wanting God to prove what He wants us to do.
There are times when I truly don’t know what to do. When I don’t know in my own understanding which is the best choice. I only see in the present, I only know what is my true. I can’t see ahead and I don’t know which choice will be the right one for the future. Because God sees the big picture, because He knows what is best for me and for everyone involved, I need to know what He wants me to choose. I need to know His truth that is greater than my true.
I asked God for a sign years ago concerning homeschooling our boys. I had an intense desire that I needed to know, “Was it of me or was it from God?”
I believed I heard God calling me to homeschool, but when I began to look into it I became overwhelmed. The fears began to circle around me…
What is the right curriculum?
How can I teach when I’ve never taught before?
Will the boys really learn anything?
Surrounded by these fears, these questions, these unknowns…
they became larger than what I had to offer.
I tried to figure it out in my own understanding.
This was when I had a choice to either;
believe in my true and allow the fears of the unknown to overwhelm me, stay in my winepress, and never experience what God seemed to be calling me to,
ask God to prove Himself, to show me His truth.
Thankfully I chose to ask God.
I was praying about homeschooling and I was desperate to hear a word from God. I chose the fleece that I’m sure many of you have done… pray, open the Bible, and read the first verse you see. This was the verse I opened to and the first verse I read…
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13
As soon as I read this verse God confirmed it with a cardinal sitting on a branch right outside my window. I knew in my spirit at that moment that God had just lead me to His truth.
His truth dispelled my true.
Since the Lord promised He would teach my boys I could trust Him to lead me to the right curriculum.
With God’s promise to teach my boys I believed He would empower me by His Spirit to do something I had never done.
These words of truth reminded me that God loved my boys more than I ever could. He knew what was best for them and He would provide all their life lessons.
This one verse of God’s truth, confirmed by the presence of the cardinal, gave me courage to come out of my winepress, carried me through all our years of homeschooling, and still encourages me as I see how God continues to teach my children.