Oh, Lord, your ways are not my ways, but I want your ways to be my ways. Many times, however, I struggle and fight your ways. Does anyone else but me seem to have this issue? I’ve had my share of Gideon moments. I’m not always hiding out but sometimes I struggle to understand if this is REALLY what God wants.
I think I struggle with accepting what God wants when it tends not to go along with what I initially want. I don’t always know what I want but there are times, I know I don’t initially want what He is calling me to do. Can you relate?
I think that is why when I read the story of Gideon, I feel like I can relate a little. Here I am feeling like I am not the best choice for the position God is calling me to, but feeling called nonetheless. And I just want to make sure that I know I’ve heard God right!
Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.
Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.
My latest Gideon moment
It started a handful of months ago. An idea popped into my head and I thought, “Well, that’s not a bad idea but I don’t necessarily think I need to do it.”
Like all ideas, I started to vet them out, because if they are not from God, I want to know and stop them immediately.
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 John 4:1
So, how do I vet these thoughts?
- I bump them up against God’s word. If all is good, then continue to the next point.
- Pray about it.
- Specifically ask if this is something God wants me to do.
- Then ask if this is something God wants me to do now or does He have a different timeline in mind.
- Then pray about accepting it, especially if it is something I didn’t initially want to do. Asking for forgiveness for not following God immediately typically falls in this step for me, too.
Over the past several months, I have been going through this process. I kept getting the green light from God, even though most of the time I would have preferred a red. And then my Gideon moment finally came.
I did everything I felt I was supposed to do to get the ball rolling. I obeyed. But I wanted to make sure this was really what He wanted me to do. I didn’t want to go against His will at all and just felt very torn. So I laid my garment out and said to God,
“You know I want to obey you. I want your ways to be my ways but I’m torn. I’m not sure this is even going to work out because after committing to do a certain job, I realized I forgot to mention that I might be moving, I’m going out of town for a bit, and my availability isn’t flexible at all. Lord, I have to tell them this and if it is not your will, help them to not accept my help. Let me know once again that this is from you and I’m not doing this outside of you. Let them say yes, if it’s from you.”
Truly, with what I had to share, it would have been very easy for them to say no and I sorta hoped they would, but instead I received a cheerful yes.
And then I cried. I cried for many reasons, one being that right now I’m just extra emotional. (We’ve had a tough year. Even though I see and feel all of God’s blessings, it is still a little difficult.) Then I cried because doing this means I will be away from my kids for a little bit. Last but not least, I cried because I realized my pride was standing in the way of what God was calling me to do.
It was the last that got me the most. I always want to be open to whatever God is calling me to do, but in this case, I stumbled over my pride.
I’m thankful for God’s grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. I’m thankful for God finding ways to show me where pride is still lurking in my heart. He is molding me, just like He is molding you.
When setbacks happen in your spiritual life, realize He will use them for His glory and to mold you into the person He needs you to be. He is merciful and full of forgiveness. May we all seek His forgiveness as He continues to shine light on the darkness lurking in our hearts.
May you be encouraged the next time you too have a Gideon moment. God can take you where you are and then show you why you should wholeheartedly put your faith in Him!
Just for fun, here is a hilarious song about Gideon that a local congregation created for their VBS week: