Three years ago I had only been a half year into my employment at my church. Aside from learning my job as the ministry assistant for small groups and outreach, I was also learning about all the ministries we partnered with throughout the city and throughout the world. Without going into a lot of details and cutting a very long story down to a few sentences, I found myself feeling God calling me to go on a mission trip to Zambia. I cannot explain it other than the fact that God had placed a strong desire and need to go. The problem was, at that point there wasn't a trip scheduled and I still wasn't sure if it was God prompting me or if it was my own desires. Within a week of feeling this need to go, a trip was scheduled! Still not being sure if it was God prompting me (I look back now and laugh at myself), I asked Him to send me a confirmation. He didn't just give a confirmation, He gave me multiple confirmations. That trip completely changed my outlook on the world, my life, and it grew my faith. Moving on in Gideon's story, he also was called by God to do something that he just wasn't sure about. He asked God not for confirmation of the call, but for confirmation that it really was God that was calling him. Please us the link and read Judges 6:15-24 to see how God answered.
Gideon questions God on how he could be the one to deliver Israel from the Midianites because he was the weakest of the weak. God's reply was that He would be with him. But notice Gideon's response - he wasn't sure God was who He said He was. This is something I think is important to stop and park at for a moment. When we cannot believe that God is who He says He is in the Bible, then we will never feel the empowerment to do the job He has called us to do. But this is the beautiful thing in the interaction between Gideon and God; Gideon asked for proof and God so kindly and gently gave it to him. That amazes me because Gideon asked the Creator of everything to prove who He is, and God didn't get mad at him. Instead, God seemed to understand and gave Gideon the proof he needed.
This is something I believe that we can take and apply in our own lives. God doesn't want a distant relationship with us; if He wanted to be distant then He wouldn't have sent Jesus to live with us. God wants us to be close to Him and He knows when we are truly seeking Him. If we find ourselves in a Gideon moment and feeling unsure that it is God calling us, we can ask Him to help us know for sure. Don't forget, Gideon had never seen the man that was sitting under the tree before and he had never experienced God in that way. Be prepared; however, to find yourself amazed when you ask God to let you know that it is Him.
Notice what happened to Gideon when he realized who he was talking to. Gideon was sure he was a goner. In fact, notice that in his earlier interactions with God he addressed him as Lord, which was a way of acknowledging honor to a person. However, once he realized who he was talking to, he called him LORD (all capital letters). When we see all capital letters for LORD in the Bible, we know that His name, Yahweh is used. So Gideon went from being polite to being in awe. God knows our hearts and He knows when we are truly wanting to know Him. He will provide us with what we need to move forward in our call - we just need to ask and trust Him.
Are you struggling to recognize if your call is from God? Have you asked Him for confirmation?
This post is linked with Winsome Wednesday.