It always weirds me out a little when people tell me that God spoke to them. Especially when they’re very specific. “God told me to bring cookie dough ice cream to 125 Main Street. I did it and it turns out they were praying – at that moment – for someone to bring them cookie dough ice cream!”
Whoa, I think. Really? If I’m honest, a little warning light goes off in my head. This one’s a wee bit strange, I think. Keep a safe distance.
See, God isn’t usually that specific with me. I get feelings, ideas, thoughts… but I always have to sift through them – is this God, my own brain or the pizza I ate last night?
But just recently he’s been very specific with Brian and me.
And it’s tough not to think, Is that really you God?
At the same time, I’ve been reading about Gideon. He was my kind of hero. He was just a puny little guy when God first shows up to talk to him. God calls him a mighty warrior who will save Israel, to which Gideon replies, “Pardon me, my Lord, but….”
Translation to Elsa language: Sorry? Did you just call me a Flighty Courier? Because I know you didn’t say Mighty Warrior.
God goes on to reassure him, “Am I not sending you?”
“Pardon me, my Lord…” he says again. Translation: I don’t think I heard you right. I weigh 100 pounds soaking wet. They are big people with big muscles, big weapons and big attitudes. I can’t be your guy.
God convinces him. Later on in the story Gideon has a whole slew of men ready to go to battle. But God wants to shift the odds. After thinning out the crowd by sending home guys who were afraid (22,000 of them took off—oh crud), he has Gideon bring the last of the men to the water – “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps…”
Gideon does it. He keeps the guys who lap and sends off the ones who get down on their knees to drink halfway civilized.
He’s left with 300 men.
Later that night, he had to be looking around at these guys. I bet that’s when the fears crept in. Did I really hear God? Did he say to keep the ones who lapped or were they the ones I should have sent home? Look at that guy over there. He’s scrawnier than me! And he’s still got water dripping off his beard and that goofy grin on his face. Oh man, what was I thinking?
I had to have misunderstood.
Now, it doesn’t really say that’s what Gideon thought, but it does say that God showed up during the night to confirm what he’d told him earlier. So I figure Gideon had one of those middle-of-the-night freak out moments, and God understood and met him in his fear.
Then God comes through. He pulls it off. Gideon takes down the Midianites and God gets all the glory—because there’s no way it could have happened by Gideon’s strength and his goofy lapping little army.
So maybe God is telling you something. And it feels a little crazy to trust it, to have faith that he’s really going to do what he says he going to do. And you’re looking at the situation and thinking, “Pardon me, Lord… but really?”
And maybe you’ve asked him all kinds of questions, and he’s confirmed it again. And he’s talked to you through others, and confirmed it again. And he’s been gracious with your doubts… and confirmed it again.
Well, then, I think it’s time to own it and trust it and walk in it, my friend.
Because he’s still speaking.
If we’re willing to listen.