I recently heard a great truth: Courage is knowing it might hurt, and doing it anyway. Stupidity is the same. And that’s why life is hard.
How do you know the difference between walking in courage, and being just plain stupid? The problem is, they both look and feel a whole lot the same. Your life calls for some courage right now, but since you have a track record of a little bit of stupid, you’re afraid to take the next step, right?
You’re questioning and second-guessing, because if you get this wrong, it’s going to really hurt. And naturally, we avoid the hurt. But as we avoid the hurt, are we missing what God is guiding us into? How do we live courageously without being stupid? If courage and stupidity basically look the same, how do we know which one we’re stepping into here?
Wouldn’t it be great if you had a clear sign right now of what you’re supposed to do next? Wouldn’t it just be grand if you knew for sure what God is doing, where he is leading, and how this is all going to work out?
I like confirmations. I like to know that I know that I know I’m doing the right thing. But, the problem is, when it comes time to take action, I don’t always know. Funny thing about my confirmations, they typically show up AFTER I’ve taken the action, rarely before. Is that the way it works in your life too? You’re never 100% certain about what you’re doing, but when you look back you see that it certainly was the right thing to do.
We want our confirmation first, but God says, nope buy into this fully first, then your confirmation will come. If you’re waiting on a confirmation before buying into what God is doing in your life, you may be missing the very thing you’re looking for. Confirmations come AFTER you buy it.
Have you ever prayed for a sign? A sign that the risky move you’re about to make is the right move? A sign that the door you’re about to walk through is the best door? A sign that God is divinely guiding you, and you’re not just making this up in your own head?
In the Bible we read about signs, crazy things happening to confirm God’s plans and desires. But where are the signs today?
Last week in a episode 1130 “Where Warriors Rise” we read about Gideon being called a mighty warrior by God, then being prompted to take his tiny army and defeat their massive enemies. But, do you know what Gideon did after God called him? He asked for a sign. Judges 6:17 ““If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.”
Gideon could not believe the things God was asking him to do. He didn’t see himself as a mighty warrior, yet God was telling him that he was the chosen one for this battle, and it would end in victory. These were unbelievable things, so Gideon told God he was going to need a sign to be sure. But what’s really interesting is we see before Gideon made his special request of confirmation from God, he first worshiped him. He essentially said, God, I’m going to ask you for a sign to confirm what you are asking me to do, but first, I’m going to worship you out of faith.
Before Gideon makes his request of God, he builds an alter and worships him. Whew girl, couldn’t we learn from this! Have you been worshiping God, or just making your requests for clear signs, open doors and lit paths? Have you been sacrificing for him, making your offerings here in this uncertain and confusing time, or were you waiting for things to be less confusing and more certain, then you plan to give your offering of faith?
FIRST FAITH, THEN SIGNS.
FIRST SACRIFICE, THEN CONFIRMATION.
FIRST SURRENDER, THEN GUIDANCE.
So, Gideon made his offering and built an alter for God, all while he was still totally uncertain of God’s guidance into what was next. AFTER his worship, then he asked for that sign. Verses 36-38 “Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—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.” And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.
Woah, that’s crazy. Gideon knew he wasn’t just imagining this. It was a power beyond his own. So then you know what he did? He asked for one more confirmation. Verse 39-40 “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.” That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.”
Now Gideon was certain, this is God speaking to me and although this plan seems insane to me, I’m going to trust it. So, Gideon did exactly as God prompted him to do. Every step of the way, he followed his lead through impossible odds and fought to undeniable victory.
I’ve asked for a sign before. A sign that what I was feeling prompted to do wasn’t just my idea, but it was God’s idea. A sign that what I was thinking wasn’t just stupid, but it was divine courage leading to God’s good plans. Because remember, courage is knowing it’s going to hurt, and doing it anyway. Stupidity is the same. This is why life is hard. If I was being stupid, I was bringing absolute financial disaster onto my family. But if I was being courageous, I was stepping through doors that would lead to ridiculously good things my human mind could not even imagine.
My husband and I had built a successful mortgage business in the Dallas area. We lived in the 100 year old refurbished farm house from a TV show. We drove the fancy car. Our phones were ringing and we were walking in success. But then, I began feeling a pull toward moving to El Paso, TX and helping my brother start a church there. Those thoughts and feelings just wouldn’t seem to go away. Every time I prayed for my brother, I felt God stirring something inside of me. However, I was fully aware leaving everything we had worked so hard to build would be potential disaster. It was a stupid move professionally speaking, and I had done enough stupid things in my life to know how bad they hurt. I really didn’t want to be stupid again.
So, for the first time, I asked God for a sign. At the time, my husband and I were reading a book called “The Dream Giver” by Bruce Wilkinson. On the cover of that book was a white feather. So, I boldly asked God to confirm this move with a white feather. Give me a white feather God. If we are supposed to leave everything we have worked so hard to build, and go out to the desert to help build a church, then give me a white feather.
Weeks went by and nothing had happened, but I still felt those promptings. My husband and I both felt as crazy as it sounded, this was our next step. As scary as it would be, we were supposed to do this. Move. Start over again. Go in faith.
One day, weeks after praying for that sign, I was in our garage packing. Yes, packing to move. Move when it didn’t make sense to move. Move when everyone thought we were making a huge mistake. And would you believe what fell from the ceiling of the garage right to my feet? A big, beautiful, white feather.
I crap you not y’all. I don’t even know what kind of bird lives in the Dallas area that would be sporting such a big white feather, but there it was. My sign. Now the funny thing was, I had already moved on without the sign. We were packing for the move, THEN the confirmation came.
Would I have ever seen it if I were still sitting on the couch worried sick about what to do? Probably not. Would I have missed the confirmation if I wouldn’t have bought into the plan? Likely.
That leaves me to wonder, what have you prayed about, but you’re not taking action for, and you’re missing the confirmation as a result.
We framed that white feather, and put it in a box, and moved it to El Paso. There we were met with more hardship than I had imagined. I somehow thought that this whole “following God thing” would be easy. I was wrong. I thought obedience would bring immediate success, I was really, really, really wrong. We struggled, and we struggled hard. In fact, the church we went there to build was a flop and failed within a few years. But looking at that framed white feather in my house, I knew we were brought there for a reason. It was courage, not stupidity, but it hurt just the same.
What I didn’t know was that God was positioning us for more than we imagined. There in El Paso, we would begin volunteering at an orphanage across the border in Juarez, Mexico, where we would eventually meet our daughters and bring them home. There in El Paso, we would rebuild our business to be able to fund our passion, which is THIS. This thing we do today called BIG Life all started in the deserts God led us to with a white feather. Eventually we quit that business to jump into adventures of doing this full time, but it all started in the hard deserts of El Paso. Well actually, it all started with a crazy prompting we felt before we ever moved to El Paso. It started with packing boxes for a move that didn’t make sense, and God confirming that it did.
We weren’t going for what we thought we were going for. God had not revealed his full plan to us yet. And what you are going for may not be the end picture at all. What you think you’re building now may be just the beginning of what God has in mind, just a building block of what it will eventually become. But you’re not ready for that big picture yet, so you don’t see it here. It will come.
So, do you need to pray for a sign? I haven’t asked for a sign since, and here’s why … I now understand I don’t need material confirmations for the spiritual confirmations God gives me. Gideon asked for a sign because he didn’t have God’s spirit dwelling within him. This was before Jesus.
I asked for a sign because I didn’t understand the power of God’s spirit already dwelling within me. Now I understand, and when I feel prompted by his spirit through those “feelings”, that “moving”, that “ah-ha moment”, now I know … that’s God guiding me. I go and receive the confirmation along the way.
John 14:26, Jesus says “The Holy Spirit (referred to as the Advocate, the Helper, the Counselor, the Comforter), whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Girl, you don’t need crazy signs, you have the spirit of God dwelling within you. He is guiding you. He is prompting you. That nudge you feel can be trusted. When you have an idea or an inspiration, or feel that feeling you can’t quite describe, ask God if that is him. Ask him if he’s leading you to what is next.
THAT IS YOUR SIGN. God is prompting you with his Spirit.
I no longer need white feathers like Gideon needed dew on his fleece when the ground was dry. Why? Because I understand God’s spirit is always prompting me and confirmation comes later.
You’re hearing this today by divine design, and maybe this is the sign you needed. God’s spirit is prompting you and all you need to do is respond. Move forward. Trust him. Receive your confirmation in action. And continually ask God to help you be courageous, but keep you from being stupid, because dang if they don’t feel a whole lot the same!