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QUESTION: Is it right to ask God to give you a sign when you want to know what His will is concerning a situation in your life?
ANSWER: The classic passage of Scripture used by Christians to seek for a sign is Judges 6:17, “And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.” Was Gideon a man of great faith? Joshua is a book of faith and victory. Judges is a book of defeat and failure. Gideon is found in Judges – the book of defeat. When Gideon was called by God he is found hiding behind a winepress, afraid of the Midianites. He starts his reply to the messenger of God with the age-old and faithless question, Why are bad things happening to good people? He asks, How shall I save Israel, I’m poor and the least capable in my family? He isn’t sure that the angel is even from the Lord and requests proof. After being given this ‘proof’ Gideon began his work, but at night so that he wouldn’t be caught. Gideon was afraid. Then, after the Midianites and Amalekites joined to battle, he needed ‘more proof.’ Gideon requests his infamous “fleece” to confirm what God had already told him to do (and even this had to be repeated twice, Judges 6–8) Gideon was an example alright – but maybe not of great faith (although to be fair he is mentioned in Hebrews 11! – God’s grace at work again! Aren’t you glad it isn’t our great faith but our faithful God who saves and keeps us!).
To the answer…and remember, I try to answer using only Scripture. Not opinion and not personal experience (I have had my Gideon moments too)…What does the Bible say? It appears that asking for a sign requires little or no faith. Didn’t Jesus say that it is a faithless generation that seeks after signs (Mark 8:11-12)? And apparently, faith that does not require signs is a much greater faith than a faith that does require them (John 4:46-54).
Secondly, there is already enough evidence “out there” for you and I to believe. The resurrection of Jesus Christ in and of itself is a sign that God’s Word is true (Luke 19:29). Does a Christian need more than God’s Word (Luke 19:28)?
A third problem with signs is that Satan can use them to deceive. One of the indicators that we are living in end times includes the presence of false prophets working signs and wonders – in the church (Matthew 24:5, 11, 24; 13:25-30). False prophets will certainly be dealt with, but in the meanwhile they are within the “Christian” camp today deceiving multitudes in the name of Jesus. Notice that we are not being warned against some other church, religion or cult. We are here being told that some, who claim to love Jesus, will “work” miracles in His name (Mark 13:6; Deut 13:1-3). Please notice that I have not said, miracles don’t happen. I believe God can and is working great miracles today. But these verses are a warning and do mean something…
Another consideration is the fact that after a sign is given it is easily forgotten. If you actually saw Jesus today, you would begin to doubt what you saw in a matter of days if not hours and would ‘need’ to ‘see Him again’ as ‘confirmation.’ Knowing this, God promised a blessing to those who simply believe the Word of God (Luke 19:28). The written Word of God is even a “more sure word” than Peter’s memory of the transfiguration itself (2 Peter 1:17-19). The same is true for you and me.
Be careful dear Christian not to have more faith in signs than in God’s Word.
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