Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I Believe What You Said. Now, Will You Prove It?

Haven’t you ever asked God for a fleece? Asked Him to show you a sign that you were on the right path? What about the time you asked Him for that one phone call to light up your screen, that one conversation to happen without your initiation, that one email to be sitting in your box, that one scripture to shimmer on the page before it jumped off the page?  That’s the fleece; the PROOF you’re requesting to confirm your belief. You’re not alone.

When God promised Abram, a childless nomad, that he would father many nations and own prime land for generations, Abram believed God. He also requested PROOF. Abram wanted to make sure that vision he had invested in was of God. “And the Lord credited it to him as righteousness.” God gladly provided Abram PROOF. Spontaneous combustion consumed the big cow, goat, ram and two pigeons Abram had prepared to sacrifice . Genesis 15: 1-21

When Moses asked God for PROOF that he had His favor to lead a migrant nation, God gave it to him.  You see, even though Moses was sure he heard God tell him he was doing a great job, the problem was the job and his followers were getting tougher and more unruly. Even God didn’t want to be near them. So Moses made a simple request of God - high stakes, though. Moses asked God if he could see His glory. Moses not only got his PROOF at Horeb,  he lived to write about it!  Exodus 33: 13-20 

When the people’s priest, childless Zechariah, freaked out about his chat over incense in the Holy of Holies with the angel Gabriel, Zechariah got schooled during his crisis of faith. Gabriel piled it on. He told Zechariah that his very barren wife, Elizabeth, was going to have a son; that this son would walk in the spirit and power of Elijah (no small thing to Jews who knew Holy Writ) and that said son would prepare nations to receive the awaitedMessiah. Zechariah, a godly descendant from the line of Aaron, wigged out. Why? He had burned incense in that temple many times before and never experienced a conversation with an angel, let alone Gabriel. Zechariah begged for PROOF. He got it. And to protect it, Gabriel put Zechariah’s tongue on lockdown until John the Baptist was born 9 months later. Luke 1:5-25

When Mary - the virgin teen ager who kept herself for Joseph, her betrothed - asked angel Gabriel about how she could be pregnant already, without having had sex, she got immediate PROOF that what she had experienced with the angel wasn't a delusion,. As soon as she saw her pregnant older cousin, Elizabeth, Zechariah's baby boy, leaped happily in her womb. Then, the no longer barren Elizabeth, started calling Mary blessed for believing the whole scenario! Luke 1: 39-44 

More PROOF for Mary assuring her that she had invested her belief in the right thing came when Joseph told her about his dream. It assuaged his reservations about marrying her over being pregnant without him. It was a confirmation she needed. Matthew 1:18-25

Then, there’s Thomas the Apostle also known as "Doubting Thomas." This guy had hung out with Jesus for a good three years, most likely saw everything he did, heard everything he said. Thomas lived side by side with the Fulfillment of Prophecy. But when he heard Jesus had fulfilled the resurrection piece. Thomas didn't even consider that all he had hung around for had come to pass. Thomas BOLDLY declared he wasn’t even going to believe  Jesus had risen from the dead unless he touched him. He didn't hesitate for a moment to say, "Wow. It finally happened. I believed all this time. I sure would love to see." No, Thomas said he wouldn't believe until he saw. And you know what Jesus gave Thomas the PROOF he demanded.

Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

But Thomas got busted.

 “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” John 20: 27-29 (NLT)

You see, Thomas had not invested his faith in what was told him. He didn't even try. He held out until he could see in what he would believe.

You're request for PROOF from God is not like Thomas' request. Not when you have stood on what you have heard from Him, invested your hope and talent in that vision from Him, memorized those Scriptures about Him and wept day and night during those prayers you've cried out to him. No, your request for PROOF is just what God enjoys so that He can show you His glory before He even gets started showing you His answer!

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” Isaiah 7:10-11 (NIV)

The Lord again spoke to Ahaz: “Ask for a confirming sign from the Lord your God. You can even ask for something miraculous.” Isaiah 7:10-11 (NET)

Eternal One (to Ahaz): Ask for proof, a sign from the Eternal your God. Go ahead, ask anything, anything at all; it can be high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead. Isaiah 7:10-11 (Voice)

-Still Processing


Evidence: Not for Lawyers Only

What do a wheat farmer turned general, a nomad turned land owner, a childless priest turned father of a son who changes the world and a prince turned nomad have in common? At first glance, not much. What if you know they’re Gideon, Abraham, Zachariah and Moses? Can you guess then? If you’re still stumped add Thomas the Apostle and yourself to the list. Got it, yet? 

Everyone on the list, including you, has asked God for PROOF. Proof that a promise you believe He’s made will come true. Proof that a dream you believe He’s breathed in your heart will come to pass. Proof that all you’re building your faith on is not a misplaced hope, childish fantasy or dangerous delusion. Proof that you're not standing in the wrong place at the wrong time for the wrong thing!

Still, at the root of your need for PROOF is a hint of doubt whispering into your belief. It’s ok to admit. We all experience that gnawing sense of uncertainty that the finances we thought Jehovah-Jireh had promised just may not come, the house He had us circle seven times just may be a frivolous desire,  the healthy body Jesus died for just may elude us on this side, the spouse of our future He told us to stay pure for may be a fantasy. God gets it. If He gave you those desires, planted them in your heart, your imagination, you prayer life, your soul and you believe them, He delights in your request for PROOF.  

 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” Isaiah 7:10-11 (NIV)

Faith can falter. God knows so He guarantees His promises.

When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeableHebrews 7: 13-18 (The Message)

Consider Gideon. He requested PROOF that he had heard right after his in-your -face, one on one with an Angel. While hiding in a winepress to thrash his wheat, Gideon saw an angel.  Then, said angel called him a “mighty man of valor,” or in other words, brave soldier. That’s probably about the time Gideon started rehearsing his request for PROOF.

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and  save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”  Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian”

The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

Made no sense in light of his current reality. Gideon’s response is understandable – a little astonishment, a lot of doubt since God’s statement defied Gideon’s reality. From Farmer to General – overnight - based on an angel sighting and celestial voice. Wouldn’t you request PROOF that  what you have just been persuaded to believe is real?

Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.” Judges 6:14-18 (NIV)

Your humble requests have probably been close to Gideon’s most likely sounding something like this:  "Pardon me, Lord. Uhmm. I really, really, really need some PROOF that I am hearing this right. I want to believe it. In fact, I do believe it. But….what if I am hearing things? Just in case, can I get a little PROOF?”

God quickly gives Gideon indisputable PROOF. A rock burst into flames then roasted his meal!  After that, Gideon immediately obeyed God. Even though he did it under the cover of night to remain anonymous (he will still grappling with the notion of being made a military strategist), Gideon destroyed Israel’s Asherah poles. Then, God piled it on. He told Gideon to go fight. Gideon thought that a little premature. So, Gideon submits his second request for PROOF. God gave it to him.

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. Judges 6: 36-38

Then Gideon asked again - a total of three unabashed times Gideon requested PROOF.  Guess what? Three times, God gave it to him. God never balked and said, “Oh, ye of little faith.” He honored Gideon’s request – to the smallest detail!

- Still Processing