Test all things; hold fast what is good.
Then Gideon said to God, 'Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.'
Perhaps Gideon is the Bible's best-known tester. During a dark time in Israel's history, God tested Gideon, but Gideon also tested God--three times. Gideon showed the Lord great respect, but he also asked for great assurance. He wanted confirmations that God was God.
God did all that Gideon requested, and Gideon did all that God required. Their fascinating collaboration covers three chapters in Judges 6-8. Consequently, Gideon, the polite but testing skeptic, made it into the Faith Hall of Fame.*
On the other hand, far more Bible heroes obeyed God without question. Our spiritual grandfather, Abraham, 'Went out, not knowing where he was going' (Hebrews 11:8).
So where does that leave questioning Christians? Do we move boldly or wait patiently? Do we walk in faith or ask for confirmation? Will God be as gracious to us as He was to Gideon? Jesus said, 'Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find' (Matthew 7:7).
Or does God expect our decisive obedience? One disciple asked Jesus for extra time:
' 'Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house'... Jesus said to him, 'No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God' (Luke 9:61-62).
I believe we serve a God Who sees us as individuals. Whether we follow first and reflect later or reflect first and follow later, each man's walk with Christ is unique. Most important is that we walk--as opposed to sitting in complacency.
Because the words 'complacent' and 'Christian' are not compatible.
To Be Continued...
* Summary of the Story of Gideon: http://christianity.about.com/od/oldtestamentpeople/a/Gideon.htm
* Full Bible Story of Gideon (NKJV) in Judges 6-8: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=judges%206-8&version=NKJV
* Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11: http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/tp/Hebrews-11-Heroes-Of-Faith.htm; http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%2011&version=NKJV
* Short Commentary on Testing God: http://www.gotquestions.org/prayer-fleece.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Skeptics series.