4.26.18 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Knowing It’s God Who’s Speaking

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Have you ever heard the story of the car, the canoe, and the helicopter?

Shorter version of a short illustration…

A flood came and a Christian man decided not to evacuate.

He said, “I trust God to save me.”

The neighbors offered him a ride to safety and he declined.

The waters rose and another man paddled up to the house in a canoe and offered help.

Again, the Christian man declined assistance, and said, “God will save me.”

He climbed to the roof of his house as the waters rose.

A rescue helicopter came and dropped a ladder down to him, but the Christian man declined again and said, “God will save me!”

The flood waters finally overtook the man and he drowned.

When he got to heaven, he said to God, “I trusted You. Why didn’t you save me?”

God replied, “I sent you a car, a canoe, and a helicopter. Why more did you want?”

I thought of this story today when I read from Judges 6:1-40.

Once again, the Israelites (who proved the adage, ‘history repeats itself’) continued their cycle of abandoning God, then crying out to Him for rescue.

This time, God used Gideon for the rescue and sent an angel to give Gideon instructions.

But in verse 17, Gideon asked for proof that He was really talking to an angel of God.

Verses 20-22 tell of how the angel proved who he was working for…

So Gideon knew God was talking.

Skipping ahead to verse 36, as Gideon prepared for battle, he asked for more proof.

He asked God to leave the ground dry overnight, but make a fleece of wool saturated with dew.

Next morning—God left the ground dry; but the wool was so saturated Gideon could wring the water out into a bowl.

Gideon must have known he was pushing when, in verse 39, he asked God not to be mad, but to confirm his message again… this time with dew on the ground and a dry fleece of wool.

And again, God delivered.

Gideon realized the importance of making sure he heard God accurately.

In our culture, we have far more distractions than he did… we have ideas, theories, news, and opinions coming at us from all sides.

It can be very difficult to hear God over the chaos.

God’s not going to be mad that you confirm you heard His message right.

Since Satan can make very convincing arguments, knowing beyond a shadow of doubt who is speaking is just prudent.

But at some point, when God delivers multiple confirmations, it’s time to step forward in faith, even when the assignment feels impossible.

In Romans 10:17 ESV, Paul wrote, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

The first part of hearing God’s voice is the faith that He does talk to us.

That our living God is actively engaged and interested in our lives.

Second, knowing God is speaking comes from knowing Him.

We know Him through His word.

I can tell you now that if the message you’re getting is even remotely contrary to Scripture, that’s not God.

Remember, Satan tempted Jesus by quoting Scripture (Matthew 4:1-11).

He’s read the book too and he’s really good at twisting it.

Prayer and knowledge of the Bible will help you discern God’s plan from Satan’s attempts to mislead you.

We are so blessed to have so many resources designed to help us understand God.

And we are also so cursed to have so many resources designed to help us understand God.

The former is true because we can use trusted resources who can help us better understand Scripture.

The latter is true because as Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can’t trust everything you read on the internet.”

(That’s from a joke meme… I haven’t lost my mind.)

Seriously though, we have to use resources with caution.

Depending on them can make us lazy, and frankly, there are a lot of wolves in sheeps clothing.

That’s why it’s important to study Scripture for yourself and not rely entirely on someone else’s interpretation.

God’s voice isn’t booming.

While He can speak to us in great shouts, He often whispers.

When He speaks, and you’ve confirmed it’s Him, step out in faith, trusting that if God has called you, He will equip you with all you need.

Today, as you pray, thank God for being a living, personal God who wants to be involved in every detail of our lives.

Ask Him to help you hear His voice and not be distracted by things that are not of Him.

Ask Him to guide you in all things and give you the confidence to step forward in faith in His plan.

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