[ecko_quote source="Judges 6:39"]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[/ecko_quote]
There are degrees of faith. At one stage of Christian experience, we cannot believe unless we have some sign or experience a great manifestation of feeling. We feel our fleece, like Gideon, and if it is wet we are willing to trust God. This may be true faith, but it is imperfect. It always looks for a feeling or some token besides the Word of God. It marks quite an advance in faith when we trust God without feelings. It is blessed to believe without having any emotion.
There is a third stage of faith which even transcends that of Gideon and his fleece. The first phase of faith believes when there are favourable emotions, the second believes when there is the absence of feelings, but this third form of faith believes God and His Word when circumstances, emotions, appearances, people, and human reason all urge to the contrary. Paul exercised this faith in Acts 27:20,25, “ And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away”. Notwithstanding all this Paul said, “ Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer; for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me”.
We read of Moses in Exodus that he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. Exactly the opposite was true of the children of Israel in the record. They endured only when the circumstances were favourable; they were largely governed by the things that appealed to their senses, in place of resting in the invisible and eternal God. The children of Israel did not believe till after they saw, when they saw Him work, then they believed. They really doubted God when they came to the Red sea; but when God opened the way and led them across and they saw Pharaoh and his host drowned- “then they believed”.
They led an 'up and down' life because of this kind of faith; it was the kind of faith that depended upon circumstances. This is not the kind of faith God wants us to have. The world says “seeing is believing” but God wants us to believe in order to see. The Psalmist said, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”.
Do you believe God only when the circumstances are favorable, or do you believe no matter what the circumstances may be?
Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe – St. Augustine
May God give us faith to fully trust His Word though everything else witnesses the other way.
Source: Pastor Jonah - UEC Ministries and Streams in the Desert