Psalm 86:15-17 (NLT)
But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Look down and have mercy on me. Give your strength to your servant; save me, the son of your servant. Send me a sign of your favor. Then those who hate me will be put to shame, for you, O LORD, help and comfort me.
It is just one of those days, you know the ones. When faith seems foreign, as fear takes hold of our heart. Disappointment is lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce on unsuspecting innocence that dares to pass by. At the end of the rope, there is not even enough left to tie a knot and hang on. What happened to my Strong Tower and Anchor that held on to confident hope, where did this sudden weakness come from with all of the worry and stress? Nothing has changed and maybe that is the problem. Perhaps, faith only lasts for so long running out rather than running over. God, I need you. I am sinking fast. I cannot keep my head above the water. My eyes are searching through the waves. Where are you? Where does my help come from? But you promised… When discouragement is allowed to become despair is spells immediate disaster for those who live by faith. Faith is to live what we believe even when what we believe cannot be seen. This poses a problem when we no longer have confident hope in an Unseen God. Forgetting the signs and wonders that He has already performed in our life, we wander off course like the Children of Israel. How do we find our way back? Where did we lose our way? Thank you Lord that He is a God of compassion and mercy. He is slow to get angry filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Send me a sign of your favor. Sometimes, we just need a sign or signal from the Lord that He is still up there working everything out. It is okay to ask for it. That’s what mercy is all about…when we reach the end of our faith and need a boost the Lord is ready to step in if we will come boldly before Him.
Judges 6:36-40 (NLT)
Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.” So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.
From the first time the Lord spoke to Gideon about rescuing the Israelites, he told the Lord that he was the weakest of the weakest. Gideon was honest with the Lord in his disbelief that he was the one chosen for such a daunting task. The Lord was relentless. God knew Gideon’s potential even when the man did not and began to move him in the right direction. Even after a powerful encounter with the angel of the Lord, he was still unconvinced and lacked the confidence needed to walk by faith so he asked the Lord for a sign. I used to think this was an audacious move that would offend Almighty God. But God was not offended, instead He did just as Gideon asked. Who am I to judge a man that was important enough for the Lord to include His Story in the Bible? Gideon did not approach the Lord once but twice for a simple sign to confirm that He would accompany the man on this mission, be with him, help him and rescue Israel as he promised. Every person who walks by faith will have these moments lost in the storm of testing and trials when faith runs dry and we need to be watered again so faith and confident hope will flourish once more.
Gideon is different from most people who abandon God at the first sign of trouble convinced it was all a lie. Some do not know God’s Love that allows His Mercy and Compassion to be never ending. He is not surprised when we ask but ready to reveal His Great Love for us all over again. He loves us that much. Few know this because God is too good to be true and too big to reach in their life. Without faith and trust to stand on, they drift back into the world relying on self-preservation and survival skills to live. When our faith grows weak, it is an opportunity to find more and move deeper into the Presence of God and find His Favor all over again. Do not abandon your First Love. Do not give up on faith. Dig deeper to harvest more hope. God never lied. He did not change His Mind. He will show you the way. Do you need a “fleece” today?
Psalm 123:1-2 (NLT)
I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven. We keep looking to the LORD our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.
If believers would only keep looking to the Lord for His Mercy, they would make it to the end of each trial successfully with more faith than they began with anchored in confident hope. The problem is we do not keep our eyes on Jesus (the Author and Finisher of Faith) but choose to look around for a quick escape. Desperate for relief from the pressure, we miss the pressed down, shaken together and running over blessings of God for those who remain faithful. The secret is in the “servants” and “slaves” who keep their eyes on their master for the slightest signal. God surrounds us with signs and wonders which are excellent opportunities to see the Lord moving through our life but we are not attentive to the Things of God because we are distracted by the things of this world. If we would learn to keep our eyes on God as a “servant” under His Great Power and Authority, then that same power would be evident in our life. We have stopped watching for God. We have stopped waiting on Him to renew our strength. We have stopped asking the Lord for a fleece so that we can make it to His Favor.
Psalm 103:8-13 (NLT)
The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
There are two fears that dominate the hearts of servants. The one with a harsh master fears retribution and punishment if they fail so they are desperate to please their superior to avoid pain and suffering. Then there are the servants who fear and respect the authority in their life because they know if they please him, there is a great reward. Do you know the God who you serve? This is vitally important in the motivation of your heart in serving Him. God is filled with mercy and compassion for His People. He is ready to revive, renew and restore them. He has no intention of punishing His Children but blessing them for their faithfulness. His Heart is tender towards you. If you do not know this God, then you will have difficulty serving Him and keeping your eyes fixed on Him. In my moment of weakness, I began to hammer heaven’s door with the Word of God and His Promises for my life. Over and over again, I repeated those secrets hidden in my heart as I have studied His Word and listened for His Voice. It was quite a tirade. Like a child, I kept telling God “but you promised.” Broken with tears flowing down my face, what I thought would be a sound retort to the Lord became my petition as faith flooded me all over again reminded of the God I serve based on His Word, I asked Him to be those things to me. I want a sign. I need a sign. Please God send one now. “Then I called on the name of the LORD: “Please, LORD, save me!” How kind the LORD is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! The LORD protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me.” (Psalm 116:4-6) The God I serve is mine. (Psalm 119:57-59) He is listening for my voice. He is looking for my faith. He will open the eyes of my heart once again. He is mine for the asking. His Faithfulness is not based on my ability to always obey, but the willingness of my heart to believe. (Daniel 9:9-10)
2 Chronicles 7:14-15 (NLT)
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.
It was time to repent for my lack of faith and disbelief that I allowed to overwhelm me for a moment. I am called by His Name. If I will humble myself and pray looking to my Master, Father, Deliverer, Healer, Provider and Protector for a sign, He will do it. I will not see His Face looking at the world around me. There is no hope here to find. I must turn from these things and seek faith above everything else. I have a right to ask. (Matthew 7:7-8) Jesus Christ encourages us to keep asking, keep seeking and you will find. I must be relentless and demonstrate endurance along the course of life in my pursuit of God even when I cannot see where we are going, what He is doing or when we will arrive. God will not rebuke me for asking anything of Him. (James 1:2-5) He is a generous God. He wants to give you wisdom. The Lord will give you strength to endure and the power to overcome if you stay on course. By taking the time to know the Will of God concerning us enough to try to walk in His Way, when we ask it is certain that we will have it by faith in the Authority and Power of God that allows us to live what we believe with certainty in the midst of great uncertainty. (I John 5:14-15) God’s Mercy allows us time to “work out our salvation”. (Philippians 2:12) This means it must be a process. No one instantly arrives, you are going to go through some stuff to make it to the Presence of God. It is necessary to build our faith and secure our hope. The blind man in Mark 8 received his sight after two encounters with Jesus. (Mark 8:22-25) Why? Maybe it took that long to have enough faith to believe for total healing rather than partial relief. It was not the inability of our Lord. It is our faith disability that often limits our receivership status. Lord, help our unbelief. (Mark 9:23-25) With God all things are possible…for those who believe.
The Power and Authority of God are not qualified by our ability to believe. We are limited in life by our unbelief although the Lord’s Ability remains limitless. If we choose to continue to walk by faith even in uncertainty, it will continue to operate in our life until our heart and head agree. Faith is all about the unseen. It has nothing to do with anything we can do or say. It is when we make up our mind that He is our God and live that way no matter what happens in our life. This is what it means to believe. Disbelief limits God’s Potential like a barrier in our life keeping us from the Promises of God, not the other way around. (Mark 6:4-6) We must make every effort to tear down the stronghold of disbelief even if it means asking the Lord to show us a sign once again. Anything that it takes to approach Him boldly and receive our inheritance which is His Favor, Blessings and Promise which are a result of Love, Grace and Mercy for His Beloved Children. It is faith in God that releases His Promises. (Romans 4:16-17) Faith watches and waits with a servant’s heart and slave’s attentiveness. It moves our eyes from what we see to what we know. Faith brings life. (Romans 1:17) Faith keeps us in right-standing with God so we can benefit from His Presence in our life. (Romans 5:1) Such a stance requires endurance, you are going to have to hang on for your life sometimes…it can be a wild ride. Faith is the confidence to live what we believe even when we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1) There is more to life than this. Look up and see the Glory of the Lord shining into your life. He is there. He never went anywhere. Watch for Him. Wait for Him. Ask Him to manifest in your life so your faith will be renewed. God will do it. See His Mercy is our comfort that it is all going to be okay in spite our inability to always walk by faith, have confident hope in the unseen or live what we believe. If we will just keep coming to Him, the Lord will draw us in. He will comfort us in the chaos. “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
Ephesians 3:11-12 (NLT)
This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.
It was God’s Plan all along that you would come boldly into His Presence as a child approaches His Dad. He wants you to have confidence in His Love including all the compassion, grace and mercy that is found there. What will it take for you to have just a little more faith today? What will make you ask the Lord to help your unbelief? God just wants you to trust Him today. He has it all worked out. Every detail of your life including every promise and blessing is provided for your discovery when you walk in His Way. His Way is faith. The sum total of your life is settled by what you believe. Do you believe in the mercy of God today? Then come boldly into His Presence, He is waiting on you! If you have strayed off course or lost your way, don’t try to get it all together but dump all the pieces of your broken heart in the altar of His Presence and let Him restore your capacity to accept His Mercy, Grace and Love all over again. It will be bigger and better than before. Store the Word of God in your heart and mind so when your faith runs low and hope seems distant, it will bring you back to Him all over again. Come boldly. You have nothing to fear. He is your God. You are His Child. All that He has is yours for the asking so ask! Seek Him with your whole heart and it will all belong to you one day! Is today going to be that day? “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished. So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? And God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose.” (Hebrews 2:1-4)
Psalm 20:4-5 (NLT)
May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the LORD answer all your prayers.