Calling Confirmation

Judges 6:33-40 

33 Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him. 35 He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, so that they too went up to meet them.

36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—37 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.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

Airline Ticket

If your friend gives you airline ticket, you need confirmation that the ticket is valid before going to the airport. At the airport, your ticket will also be scrutinized to confirm its validity. After that, you can fly at the specified time and destination in your ticket.

Confirmation helps to avoid possible miscommunication.

Gideon wanted confirmation that God has called him to save Israel from their enemies. Gideon was not confident that the Israelites would follow him as their leader because he was even scared of his family and clan. But when the Holy Spirit came to him, he summoned not just his clan but the other tribes of Israel.

1. Summon

33 Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him. 35 He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, so that they too went up to meet them.

The term ‘came’ was properly translated ‘wrap around’ like wear clothes. The Holy Spirit covered Gideon with courage, and then, he sounded a signal. When Gideon summoned his clan, the Abiezrites, and followed his order, it practically displayed God’s power at work in his life, why? Gideon was scared of his family and his clan, and yet when he sounded the signal trumpet, they followed his order.

It says in Romans 8:15, 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again.

Not everyone has the gift of leadership. But when God empowers church leaders lead, the fear that church members won’t follow disappear. And, when church members follow, it’s God’s grace at work among them. The Holy Spirit gives willingness to trust and follow the leaders that has chosen for the church.

Our human nature would often resist the will of God. God’s commands often trigger hesitations. We may believe that God commands us to receive His blessing. Yet, we still hesitate to obey, why? Why do sense some sort of resistance? In Romans 8:7-8, The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

As we grow older and experience independency, we want to decide for ourselves. We want to choose our clothing, food, hairstyle, or buy things we wish. Suggestions are appreciated but we don’t like to be dictated of what we do with our lives. Such is the freedom of independency that we want to enjoy and experience.

Our struggle to obey the Lord has been influenced by freedom of independency. No amount of reason can compel us to obey God, why? It is the work of the Holy Spirit to inspire us and give us motivation and willingness to follow His calling.

When we hear God’s calling and follow His will, it is not by human effort that we respond positively. It’s God’s grace at work in our life. It give us enthusiasm to obey.

It says in Galatians 5:16-18, 16 Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

What does it means, “not under the law?” Does it mean, “We can break the law?” Does it imply resistance to the law? It means, “We don’t disregard the law!”

Winnipeg Police Service

When responding to emergency, the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) sounds their siren, and motorists are required to give way. When WPS car comes to a stop light, it stops, why? Is it because stop lights require them to stop? No, stop lights are warning to all incoming motorists of possible accident. Accident would surely hinder smooth travel.

After everything is clear the WPS continue to move on to their destination.

So, as we move on to our eternal destination, God’s Law serves as warning to us of possible unwanted circumstances that may hinder enjoyment of life to its fullness. The Holy Spirit helps us obey His law to enjoy our pilgrimage on earth. It teaches us in Galatians 5:22-23,  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

When the Holy Spirit bears fruit in us, our actions, decisions, motives, or thoughts won’t contradict God’s Law. Instead, of resisting God’s Law, the Holy Spirit removes the pressure to obey His law so that we enjoy living within the boundary of God’s law.

Gideon hesitated to obey God because he was scared. But when God’s Spirit came to him, he had courage. When he ordered his people to prepare for battle, it confirmed his calling to lead. Leading does not necessarily mean winning the battle. Gideon desired confirmation that God has chosen him to save Israel and not just to lead them in battle.

2. Save

36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—37 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.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

Earlier, Gideon confirmed that God has favoured him as leader but he hesitated after he destroyed the altar of Baal and the Asherah pole and offered a burnt offering.

Why did Gideon sense some hesitation? The townspeople wanted to kill him. And, although his father sided with him or favoured what he did, it did not guarantee that the townspeople have forgiven him and that they won’t plot against him.

When their enemies moved west into Canaan, the Spirit of the Lord empowered Gideon and he summoned the Israelites. It was not mentioned if it happened right after he destroyed the Asherah pole. It might be few days or even weeks later. So, Gideon asked for confirmation again. He might have thought that he is not fit to be a leader.

Signature Shoes

Someone observed the huge pair of shoes that a toddler was wearing. “That kid has big feet. Look at his pair of shoes. They are huge for him.” “Yeah! His parents might have thought that he would wear them for a couple of years. You know! Kids can easily outgrow their shoes fast,” the other observer said. “True! Especially for signature shoes, it would be wasted,” said the former.

It is not the best illustration but it has a slight similarity to ministry calling. Just as we need shoes in walking, ministry involvement is necessary for our spiritual walk of life. At first, we get involved in ministries that we are comfortable with. And, as we grow spiritually mature, we also outgrow our ministry. We wish to have bigger involvement.

Some people are satisfied with any brand of shoes available but others are very particular with shoes they wear. They desire to use that brand all their life if possible.

Similarly, some believers are satisfied of being involved in any ministry available, but others want to be involved in particular ministries. They desire to be in that ministry all their life if possible, why? God has designed a particular ministry specifically for us.

Have you heard God’s calling in the ministry He has designed particularly for you? You may want confirmation from God like Gideon. When the Lord communicates, He gives a very clear instruction of what to do and when to act. The Lord has commanded us in Psalm 100:3, Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

It is God’s command to know the Lord and understand that we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. When He calls us, we follow our Shepherd in the ministry He designed for us. As we respond to His calling, our Good Shepherd leads us to the green pasture and quiet water. It says in Psalm 23:1-2, The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

Green pasture represents life to its fullness, and quiet not stormy water represents the peace that we experience when we follow our Good Shepherd. We lack nothing.

We have contentment when we follow the calling of Christ our Shepherd.

Do you feel like something is lacking in your life, or feel like you’re in stormy water?

Be still!

Listen carefully to our Shepherd’s call.

Ask for confirmation if you need it.

<‘))):< ltsii/2018 >:(((‘>

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