Signs and wonders: they fascinate us. We marvel at the crossing of the Red Sea, Jesus’ feeding of 5,000 and 4,000, even Gideon with his soggy sheep fleece.
One part of us asks, “Is this really true?” while another part says, “Do this for me, God! Do this for me!”
And within contemporary Christian culture, we are often encouraged to “ask for a sign,” because, we are assured, Gideon did this (multiple times), and God honored his request. He can do no less for us, we’re told, and indeed, if we have enough faith, we force His hand.
But we’re not Gideon, my friends, (Judges 6-8) and God isn’t asking us to wipe out an overwhelming Midianite enemy by shouting, blowing on trumpets, and breaking jars. If the story of Gideon tells us anything, it’s that God gets the credit for winning our battles. Gideon’s story isn’t one extolling a man’s faith, but rather his reluctance, and God’s gracious understanding of that fear.
Please read the rest of the article at Why You (Probably) Shouldn’t Pray for a Sign at my column, Commonsense Christianity at BeliefNet. I know it’s a hassle following a link, and I’d print the whole story here if I could, but I can’t. I appreciate your patience and understanding.
You might also enjoy this special feature, Four Lies Creeping into Today’s Christian Church.