Have you ever had the Lord ask you to do something that seemed to be way out of your league? Or have you ever had to make a life altering decision where all the available options seemed right? Maybe you have felt the Lord showed you an answer that was just too simple to be true. It is during these confusing and uncertain times that we need to be seeking confirmation from the Lord.
What Are We Asking For?
When seeking confirmation, we are asking the Lord to validate His word to us and remove any doubts we may have. This is sometimes necessary so we can proceed on our way with the confidence that we are actually walking in the direction the Lord would have us go. He knows we sometimes struggle with what He shows us and is happy to help us along. We see this happening in the lives of a couple of characters in the Bible.
Gideon was somewhat of a timid soul the Lord selected to deliver the Israelites from the oppression of the Midianites. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon and he called together an army to help him. He was still uncertain, however, that he had heard the Lord correctly. We see him ask the Lord for confirmation in Judges 6:36 – 40.
Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.” And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.” And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.
Gideon asked the Lord for a physical sign indicating that he was indeed God’s chosen deliverer. His uncertainty was so great that he actually asked for a sign twice. Both times the Lord confirmed His word by doing as Gideon requested.
The Lord can still confirm His word to us through physical signs, but we need to cautiously consider two things:
1) There are many things that can manipulate physical circumstances. Therefore, if we are going to ask for a physical sign, we need to make sure we ask for something that can only come from the Lord (such as making the fleece wet when everything else is dry).
2) I have seen people structure their “fleeces” so there is a good chance it will turn out the way they want it too. This is being dishonest. We are pretending to seek the Lord when all we are really doing is seeking to support our own desires. Again, if we are using this method to seek confirmation from the Lord, we need to request something that will confirm God’s true leading in our lives.
In 1st Samuel 23 David received word that the Philistines were attacking Keilah, a city in the lowlands of Judah. David inquired of the Lord as to whether or not he should attack the Philistines and save the city. The Lord responded that David should indeed rescue the city.
David’s men, on the other hand, were not so sure. They were nervous because they were currently located in Judah, the territory of King Saul. So David went and inquired of the Lord again just to be sure. The Lord confirmed that David should go to Keilah because the Lord would give the Philistines into his hand. This apparently calmed his men’s fears. They went down to Keilah and the city was saved.
The One Exception
There is one exception to the Lord providing confirmation. We cannot expect the Lord to confirm His word when He has already made His will clear to us. An example of this would be someone seeking confirmation as to whether or not they should divorce their spouse in order to marry someone else. This would be a clear violation of God’s word concerning marriage. It would be completely illegitimate to seek confirmation on something of this nature.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Are you struggling with a word from the Lord? Are you looking at several options and are not sure which one to pick? Don’t be afraid to ask the Lord for confirmation. As our Heavenly Father, He is well aware of our struggles and delights to confirm His word to us. Seeking confirmation is one way of making sure we continue living in the Reign.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.