Thursday, August 18, 2011

Signs ~

I used to ask for a sign to believe in
But He never gave me a reason to ever doubt Him
(Jason Upton)

The other day I woke up with these two lines rolling through my mind, and I started to think about the song they stem from.  One of my favorites, definitely. 

The song, Give Me One Reason To Doubt, was written by Jason Upton, and without a doubt, the point of the rest of the lyrics address humanity’s tendency to second guess the authority of Jesus Christ as Messiah and King.  That, however, is not the direction I’m going with this, so I’m going to just take those two lines and explore something that has been on my heart for awhile.

Why is it that we play the role of Gideon with the fleece?  I’ve done it more times than I care to recall, but the thing is, I’m not sure why.  Is it because I doubt God’s direction in my life?  Do I need Him to prove something to me? 

There is a struggle that engages us all.  It’s a fight that encroaches upon all of us, and if everyone were honest, we’d all admit that sometimes the battle is easier than others.  It is the war we wage with the flesh.  That carnal nasty side of us that the enemy so often tries to use in order to drag us from away from our relationship with the Lord.  It’s ugly.  Sometimes it’s REALLY ugly. 

Now, I could go into great detail (many have - pages and pages, book upon book, thesis upon thesis) about the weapons our great Father has given us in order to help in with our individual struggle with the crucifixion of the flesh.  I, however, want to bring out something entirely different.  I preface it by disclaiming that, my purpose is merely to raise some questions and get some people – myself included – thinking about our intent.

I remember part of a message that my Pastor gave while I was in the final stages of my schooling in Pensacola.  I don’t remember the whole thing.  Actually, I don’t remember much of anything else.  You see, I’m a visual person and once I get struck with a mental image, I am completely distracted.  Anyway, he said – in my own words summarizing – If God tells me to do something, my only response should be to snap my heels, say ‘yes, Sir’, and carry out orders.  I resound, YES!

But how many times have I questioned?  I don’t know.  In my heart, though, I can’t say it’s out of disobedience, disrespect, or self preservation.  Not always, anyway, and I repent for the times it has been.  Most of the time, though, I don’t knee-jerk into action.  At first, this really REALLY bothered me.  Why don’t I jump and ask questions later?  Why don’t I take what He gives me and run wild with it? 

What I now write could very well provoke an onslaught of criticism, but, from my heart, it is sincere.

I don’t believe it’s out of disobedience that I wait – sometimes asking for a sign.  It’s because I have so many times impulsively jumped before I had full and clear direction.  I knew where I was headed, and I plowed ahead.  Sometimes I ask for a sign so that I can confirm in my heart that I’m following the specific direction of the Lord.  It’s out of a desire against disobedience. 

A younger me would have pushed and pushed without fear or restraint, but the older me waits and makes sure I have a clear path, unwavering peace, and a spirit of willing obedience.  I long to please the Lord!  I hunger to fill Him with joy.  And I have had to repent more times than I can number for the times I moved ahead without seeking Him more thoroughly first. 

Let me add this, however.  I know firsthand, the closer I am in my relationship with the Lord, the more I know His heart.  And the more I know His heart, the more I easily identify His voice from the millions of others that cloud my earthy head.  And the more easily I identify His voice, the less I have to question when I hear it. 

So, it may be that needing to ask for a sign is
A)    An expression of desired obedience, but also,
B)    A sign in and of itself that I need to pursue more, draw closer in, and engage. 

Just some food for thought…..

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