Fleecing and Testing
Exodus 4:10-17 Moses trying to prove to God he could not do the task.
Judges 6:36-40 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 say 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.
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9 Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. . . Good and upright is the Lord; therefore, he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
Many who have read my blogs or known me well on a personal level know that my acceptance of God’s invitation was listening to a sermon about Judges 6:36-40 and jumped on the idea of knowing God’s will by asking Him ‘if’ and ‘then’ questions.
It seemed to me to make sense to determine God’s will for me by asking specific questions. I was raised going to church each week, but we were not taught there could be, and should be a relationship with God on a personal level. There was a mediator who ‘thought’ they had a closer relationship to God and relationship was not encouraged. In fact, I am not sure even these leaders of the church services had a relationship with God or just some education to make some decisions for the local church.
So I did not start my Christian walk with a relationship, per se, but as a child looking for the encouragement of which was the correct way to travel on the path. So I never asked what God wanted me to do. . . I gave Him options and asked Him to choose. O my goodness. Who was I? Who did I think I was? The only thing I can think He approved of was the fact I was seeking something from Him. But the arrogance and impertinence!
Anyway, I did not delve further into His word for quite awhile. My “fleece” mentality lasted for quite for a few years, but rather than limiting Him to two of MY choices for answers, I asked for answers to specific questions. The last time I tested God with this, He answered in a huge and impressive way. MY husband and I were in Germany, but his mother had congestive heart failure and got ill fairly often in the winter especially. She lived in FL, his brother was in MA—and having to wait about 36 hours until we could fly and get to her was TOO LONG for my impatient nature to wait. Although I loved Germany and truly was happy staying, I felt like we should look for an assignment back in the states.
But I had to “fleece” this. ‘God, IF You want us to return to the states, please give us a clear answer.’ And I would choose “if this one, then that, but if no, then this would be my sign (my fleece). No answer. Now, I had put some restrictions on where we would end up—east coast anywhere from Maryland to Florida.
He applied for several positions with the Army and was not picked up and finally, he broadened his search to all branches of the military. We got no takers for that also. I was beginning to wonder if God wanted us to stay in Germany and I possibly had to readjust my thinking and WAIT if she got ill again until I could get there.
Now obviously living with me for several years, he was accustomed to these fleeces of mine. But one night in the summer of 1999, I asked him to think up ‘an answer, an indicator’ to a fleece. He sighed and rolled his eyes, and after a few minutes said if we saw a shooting star it meant we would get orders. This had already coincided with the fact he had broadened his search to include all branches of the military. And of course, he knew I believed seeing falling stars one of God’s gifts to me—on a par with seeing dolphins, whales, and other fabulous things.
We went outside and were chatting away when ZOOM shot a falling start across the sky. In the course of an hour and twenty minutes, we saw 26 falling stars, and I laughed and said, “Okay, God, I got it! In Your time we are going, but now I just wait for Your time.”
We had a dog, so I took him out on the yard side of the house, and while standing there waiting for him, I got to see 3 more shooting stars. It was exciting reassurance!
It took about three weeks, and I never questioned it again, just waited because I knew His will, then, Paul’s applications got an interest. Cherry Point was looking for a controller to run the air base and five other east coast air bases.
I won’t say that was the last time I ever tried the ‘fleece’ but shortly after God firmly said, “Enough. This is not a game, certainly not a game of chance. You need to develop a relationship with ME.” He wants us to persist in seeking His guidance for our lives. But actively seeking, praying, trying to determine His will and path for us. We tend to be impatient and throw our hands up in frustration if we must wait for long seeking His direction. And we miss out. All things occur in God’s timing, not ours. As much as we may feel we are, we are NOT in charge.
Hmmm, how did that work? About that time, I was hearing different tv preachers on TV or on the radio, and it was dawning on me that there was a LOT more I could have. I began searching and reading the bible—new concept—and much of it was Greek (haha; not the original Greek writings, but it was difficult for me to understand). So, I hunted for a couple different versions with language easier for me to understand and bought both. I have compared versions lots of times over the years, preferring the wording of one over another, clarifying my understanding when something seems unclear.
Some I still didn’t understand, some I wondered why it was important for me to know—some I still wonder why all the gold, silver, bronze, and other materials which the different tribes donated was important; and why did each have the exact wording except the name of which tribe? Now, I read it more patiently—I still do not know why it is important, but I read it and trust that eventually I will understand why those of His words are important to me. But I have gained more knowledge and understanding of Deuteronomy, Numbers and Leviticus over the years.
But since I learned about relationship versus ‘should go to church every Sunday; should do this at the church’ instead of laws and expectations of my childhood church, it is so freeing to feel that I can intercede on my behalf because of what Christ willingly did on the cross. I can go to Him, not an intercessory to confess and peel off my feelings—hurt, anguish, anger, frustration, fear and whatever.
God wants the relationship, the seeking of His will in your life, not the silly games I was playing. He wants deeper, the heart, the truth of who you are, what you desire and seek—wanting you to seek Him FIRST, then other dreams, goals, or clarifications. He wants us to acknowledge His Son as Savior and then accept the Holy Spirit into our hearts and live as the Holy Spirit guides. They, the trinity
It’s amazing to me the amount of peace and ease I have now. That is not to say each day is smooth, but I get far less frustrated and overwhelmed than before. I KNOW God’s got whatever it is, and I no longer need worry about it. When the time is right, I will have my direction because God has proven faithful to my fears, worries, and I no longer waste time having those issues. Living life feels so much easier. I spend time being thankful when I’m walking around and listening to birds singing their thanks each morning, enjoying blue skies, the sounds of the ocean, wondering how those big pelicans (pterodactyls) can fly and glide over the ocean or houses looking as though their bellies will be skinning (not Skimming) their bellies. What an amazing world He has created, just breathed into existence.
Now, I am just grateful for what He has blessed me with—family, friends, good health, beautiful settings I have enjoyed. Thank You, God, for Your persistence in making me realize it is relationship, not game playing and testing. I am so thankful for Your active involvement with me and ‘mybellaviews.’