Let’s say you’ve got a big decision to make. Should you pray to God for a sign?
Maybe you’ve heard people talk about receiving signs from God and you feel curious. How do you know when something is a sign from God and not just your imagination?
Does God bless other people with more direct communication that you aren’t getting? Maybe they are just more faithful, or more spiritually gifted.
Or perhaps, they are off the religious deep end.
True confession time. I have tended to be a person who leans more toward the belief that people who claim signs from God are in the “off the religious deep end” camp.
If you tell me every time you find a penny it means a loved one who died is sending you a message, I don’t believe that is a sign from God. I think it means you found a penny. I find pennies all the time, and it means I am one cent richer.
What Does the Bible Say About Signs from God?
As much as I would like to hold on to my skepticism, however, it’s not fully Biblical. Check out this passage in Isaiah,
Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.
Consider the story of Gideon in Judges 6. Many people look to this story when asking God for a sign. Three different times Gideon asked God for a sign, and all three times God granted Gideon’s request. Once an angel of the Lord, who was visiting with Gideon, touched an offering of food and fire sprang up and destroyed it.
Twice Gideon laid out a fleece on the ground. Once he asked the Lord for it to be wet with dew and the ground dry, and the next day for it to be dry and the ground wet, as proof that the Lord would deliver him in battle. Both times God granted Gideon’s request. This is why sometimes people say they are “laying out a fleece” when they ask God for a sign.
Should You Pray to God for a Sign?
Should you pray to God for a sign, like Gideon?
You could, but let me suggest something different.
You have something Gideon did not have. You have the Bible. You have the knowledge of a Savior, Jesus Christ, who has died on the cross for you. Gideon had the promise of a Savior to come, but he did not have the assurance of the Jesus you and I know, and Gideon did not have the written Word of God that you and I have today.
The Bible also never says in Judges 6 if God was in a good mood about granting these signs to Gideon. God shows his mercy and favor in this story. Gideon shows a lack of trust.
It’s not necessarily wrong to ask God for a sign, but it might be going down a tricky path with your faith. God has provided you with what you need to make decisions, because he has given you the Bible.
Study God’s word. Get to know God and who he is. Develop a relationship with God. The more you are in a relationship with someone, the more you understand what the person wants.
Pricilla Shirer in her book and videos Discerning the Voice of God, teaches fantastic principles for how to make wise decisions. (This book seriously changed my spiritual life.) She teaches that as a Christian, you should make decisions based on:
- The guidance of the Holy Spirit in you. The Holy Spirit will never guide you to do anything that goes against the Word of God.
- Live in the the mode of prayer.
- Seek the guidance of other Christian mentors.
- After all of these things, then you may receive the mercy of a sign from God.
You may receive signs from God. These are at the end of your decision making process, as a gift of confirmation from God that you have made a wise decision.
There is a sweet joy in receiving a sign of confirmation from God in this way. These types of signs bring with them an amazing type of peace.
God Gives a Sign of Confirmation
Sometimes God gives signs of confirmation even when you have not asked for them.
A few weeks ago, after serving at our church in Colorado for the past 15 years, my husband made the decision to take a call to a new church in New York. This is a big move for our family.
We’ve been getting a lot of teasing from people about all the snow we’ll be shoveling in our new home town. I won’t kid you. I’m excited about this move, but not so much about the snow part.
So, a couple days ago when a storm dumped 20 inches of snow on Denver in the springtime, that was something.
When we looked at this picture of the storm’s path, and it was exactly from Denver to where we are going to be moving, it was a serious WOW-God moment.
This is a sign of confirmation. God is leading the way for us to go to New York, and that is awesome. I’m thankful for this sign.
But…I gotta be honest here.
A sign in…snow? (I know, I’m sounding like a picky, whiny Gideon now, right?)
I posted a message about this on Facebook, and a friend wrote this comment,
Sounds like the God of the storm, JAH, is leading the way for you. Check out Psalm 68:4.
This is what Psalm 68:4 (KJV) says,
Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
And the Matthew Henry commentary on this verse says,
As a great God, infinitely great (v. 4): He rides upon the heavens, by his name JAH. He is the spring of all the motions of the heavenly bodies, directs and manages them, as he that rides in the chariot sets it a-going, has a supreme command of the influences of heaven; he rides upon the heavens for the help of his people (Deu. 33:26 ), so swiftly, so strongly, and so much above the reach of opposition. He rules these by his name Jah, or Jehovah, a self-existent self-sufficient being; the fountain of all being, power, motion, and perfection; this is his name for ever.
What a fantastic sign of confirmation for me. I got chills reading this Bible passage and this commentary.
This is the God I follow. I will follow him anywhere.
Do you follow Him, too?
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