One of my favorite Bible nuggets is “The story of the fleece.” That is not it what the Bible calls but that’s how I remembered it all these years. (For your reference, it’s Judges 6:36-40). I have loved this story for many years because it reminded me of my relationship with God- I always needed proof.
To understand those verses, you have to read the entire chapter. In reading you learn that God spoke to young Gideon and told him to go fight for the Children of Israel. Gideon had question after question because he was afraid. He just wanted to make sure that God was really speaking to him and ordering his steps. Finally, Gideon begins to believe the mission but asks God for one last test. The test is wetting a fleece while keeping the ground around it dry. In my biblical guessing, I assume God was thinking, “I literally just told you what to do…but fine.” Gideon set the fleece outside, went to sleep, and rose the next morning to find a wet fleece and dry ground.
That should have been enough, right? Oh no, Gideon still wanted to be sure. “Ok, ok, I know You did this but I just want to be sure, God….can you now wet the ground only, not the fleece?” (Interpretation by Michelle). Despite all the back and forth, God did it. Gideon went to sleep, God wet the ground only, and Gideon saw it in the morning.
I have always loved this story because sometimes I doubt whether it’s God talking to me or if it is my desires that are trying to break free. I have [poorly] justified many actions in my life by saying “I thought God was telling me to do this.” Conversely, I have held off on many God-ordained moves because I was waiting for Him to wet my fleece.
Disclaimer: I realize this next sentence may sound hypocritical. Apologies in advance!
God is NOT a magic-trick type of God. If He tells you do something, do it! If He tells you not to do something, don’t do it! There is no need for the back and forth testing with Him. He is God. He is Sovereign. Trust Him. Point. Blank. Period.
One of my biggest issues on this healing journey is being able to distinguish God’s will from my own. It is an issue because my heart has so many desires and I sometimes feel like God isn’t responding fast enough to my heart (just being honest). Truth is, His time is not my time. His ways are not my ways. God sees and knows everything all at one time. He can see the end result of my actions before I even attempt them. This is why I need to always default to Him.
While “The fleece story” may be one of my favorites, it is also a story that I need to spiritually mature from and depart. In the Bible, it appeared as though Gideon was still finding his way through his faith. He lived in a home and land that worshipped Baal (an idol, and thereby a sin) and there wasn’t much talk of God unless people were in trouble. Sound familiar??? I can only assume that his relationship with God wasn’t that strong and that’s why He needed so much reassurance from God. While additional reassurance from God is something that we all seek early in our relationship with God, at some point we are supposed to mature past that.
In the beginning of our relationship with God, we are like infants, learning and growing every day. But just as we don’t stay babies forever, we are not meant to stay in spiritual infancy forever. We need to grow up! We have to get to the point in our walk with God where we can clearly distinguish His voice from our own or the voices of others. If you aren’t there yet, that’s ok- just pray and ask God to help you on your journey.
That’s the beautiful thing about God- He will meet you where you are. We were not called to be perfect. We are, however, called to be Christ-like as we continue to work on our relationship with The Father.
Consider it this way, at some point the training wheels were removed from your bicycle, right? Well, it’s time to remove the training wheels from your faith. Go all the way in with your faith! If you stumble or fall, dust yourself off, converse with God, get back up, and get back on that bicycle.
Google (yep, I’m quoting Google) defines a test as “a procedure intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use.” How deep into your relationship with God do you need to go before you KNOW about His “quality” or “performance”?
We will all experience some Gideon moments along our journey but there is a blessing in just trusting God to be God. Even if you are hardheaded or skeptical like I can be, God is faithful and all-knowing. No need to constantly test Him; you can trust Him.