Read: Judges 6:1-40, Luke 22:54-23:12, Psalm 95:1-96:13, Proverbs 14:5-6
Then the Spirit of the Lord took possession of Gideon. He blew a ram’s horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him. He also sent messengers throughout Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, summoning their warriors, and all of them responded. (Judges 6:34-35)
Relate: “God, if this happens then I will do that.” Fill in the blanks on this and that and you have a common prayer/thought in my early years. Often, when the “this” actually did happen I would immediately create up another “this” to lay before God before I would do “that”. In my youthful way, I thought I was being spiritual. I thought I was laying a fleece before God just as Gideon had done. Part of me really did want to know what God’s will was and to be obedient to it. Another part of me just wanted to have a legitimate rationalization for not being obedient to what, deep down, I did know was His will.
Over time I have made my fleeces a bit more sophisticated. I realize that I can’t get off the hook quite so easy, yet I still tend to want to make similar type deals with God. “I believe that is what You want me to do. If You provide for me in this way, I will step out in that direction.” I’m still trying to make a “this for that” deal with God. Usually the “this” is an impossible request but it is a way for me to feel good about being “responsible” rather than being obedient in doing “that”.
React: I wonder if God isn’t on the other side saying, “I’ve got this all lined up for you. You will find it ready as soon as you step out in that direction.” Gideon laid out a fleece before God. It was an impossible one, and it wasn’t enough. The next day he laid out another fleece asking God to do the opposite (and equally impossible) thing as He had done the night before. There is one crucial difference between what Gideon did and what I do. Gideon had already stepped out in obedience. He had already called for the army and sounded the trumpets of war. As he waited for the army to gather, he laid out his fleece asking God to confirm that the step he had already taken was the right one.
So often I want to know all the steps before I take the first one. I want to have the map all plotted out before I even get in the car. This is the “responsible” way to act. It is the “right” way to move and prepare. It also completely takes faith out of the equation. Am I willing to truly step out in faith or will I use a twisted version of a fleece as an excuse for obedience?
God, when You call me, help me to step out. If I am not sure exactly how or when or where I am to be stepping, please correct my course as I do my best to obey. I know You will provide what is needed. I know You will provide the victory if only I will get off the sidelines and get into the action. Do not let fear keep me from moving. Do not let uncertainty keep me from moving. Let me sound the call to action and as I move out for You please confirm to me that You are still moving with me.