New Leaves

Fleece from an Alpaca

Melrose, FL

More re: One Step…

Mar 20, 2014 by Arthur

Bonnie’s article was a good “catch up” for what we’ve been doing for the last six weeks. Her scriptural thoughts on “doing all for the glory of God,” and “come away and rest,” are certainly great truths of God for all of us today. But, I’m still feeling that “itch” of trying to figure out “where do we belong?” and “what are we to do now?” and “why doesn’t the Lord speak and show His plan to us?”

These are questions that I’m sure others have grappled with at various times in their lives. I know that I’ve asked those questions many times during the course of the last 38 years. There were those times when I just wanted to see the “hand of God write on my living room wall,” or maybe see the sun’s shadow retrace its steps to give me a sign. I’ve often said that Gideon’s fleece (Judges 6) has been exalted to the ultimate way to discern God’s will. But, I’ve always felt that the fleece showed a measure of unbelief and unwillingness to take God at His word and that we today should be more able to be convinced of God’s direction because we have the Holy Spirit within us and the Holy Scriptures to instruct us: which Gideon didn’t have. But he did have something that we don’t have: he had the voice of God that he heard and he knew specifically what God was saying to him. It was as if he needed more and more evidence (one night of testing wasn’t enough, he needed two).

Remember that Gideon had already acknowledged that it was the “angel of the Lord” that had appeared to him and had spoken to him (6:22-23). And, in verse 34 we read that the “Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon” and surely he was aware of that! But then comes the “fleece” and while God allowed the testing to take place, I believe that it would have been far better for Gideon to have simply gone in the strength of the Lord that he had already experienced.

Just so, we who are Christians have the indwelling Spirit of the Living God living within us and His voice does indeed speak to us so that we can know the way that we are to go. We don’t need to ask for “signs” when we already know the way that we are to go! (I know there will be those who will object to my “downing” of Gideon’s fleece. They will say, “Well, that’s the determining factor to me as to whether something is God’s will. I tell God what He is to do and IF He does it then I will do what He asks of me.” But where do we get off telling God how He is to act? The Gideon incident is a recorded piece of history and we see the great power and glory of God revealed through the obedience of Gideon, even though he felt he had to test God. But what about Abraham who went out not knowing where he was going, but because God said to go. . .he went? C.H. Spurgeon had this to say about Abraham: “We may rest assured that when Abraham started, he asked no questions concerning how far or to what place he was journeying. He left that all in the hands of God. His faith put [his] hand inside the hand of [his] father, and he was content to be led wherever his father would lead him.”)

Having said all that, I’m still left with unanswered questions: “where do we belong?” and “what are we to do now?” and “why doesn’t the Lord speak and show His plan to us?” I’m left with these questions but yet with the assurance that He will indeed answer. . .in His time! Yes, I’ll keep asking, and I’m still trusting God to give His answer when He chooses to answer and not according to my timetable! However, I am sending out a call for your prayers that God will make His will known to us. I’m still trusting God to use us in our travels to be a blessing to those we meet and to let His love make its way through us to those who are not yet a part of the family of God!

Well, God is good and there's never a time when He isn't! And our lives are so much more enriched as we have followed Him over the years. How can we doubt Him now? As the Psalmist said in Psalm 3:3-5, “You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. I was crying to the Lord with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.” Praise the name of Jesus!