“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9.
Have you ever asked God to give you a sign? Most of us probably have at one time or another. Maybe we have done so in times of desperation, frustration, confusion, or even isolation. We want a physical, tangible, obvious sign that God is with us and for us. There are Christians who are in constant fear that they’re not “really saved.” They are looking for some sort of confirmation or visible blessing. So, we look for verification of being saved in something we can measure: for example, are we more humble this year than last year, were we more consistent in our daily devotions and did we tithe more this year? The Israelites needed a sign after leaving Egypt.
The Israelites faced another threat in their desert trek from Egypt. The threat was a lack of water. “So once more the people complained against Moses. “Give us water to drink!” they demanded…Moses named the place Massah (which means “test”) and Meribah (which means “arguing”) because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord here with us or not?” (Exodus 17:2, 7) The people wanted another sign from God. They had seen sign after sign, but when the water ran out, they needed another sign. Psalm 95:7-9 addressees this: “for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did.”
The Israelites had forgotten all God had already done for them in the past and His promises to them in the future. “When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you!” (Deuteronomy 20:1)
It is easy to want some sort of proof that God is there when we face hard times or difficulties. But faith isn’t like that. Faith is believing God accepts you in Christ Jesus on the basis of His Word, not on the basis of what you did better year to year. The Apostle John wrote an entire chapter to assure God’s people that they are indeed God’s people. “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13). The word know means absolute assurance. It is possible to be saved and know it.
We all struggle with seasons where we long for a sign that we are on the right path, that we are doing what God wants us to do. And in some cases, God may give us that sign. But we don’t need a sign to surrender and to get engaged in the mission of God. Nor do we need a sign to offer our time, talent, and treasures as a blank check to him. We just need faith.
- What are one or two areas of your faith where you are experiencing doubt?
- Read Ephesians 2:8-9: Your salvation is not determined by your good works or even by the amount of your faith.