Robert Morris — Call For Confirmation
I hope that this is inspiring you to spend time with God on a regular basis, and learn to hear his voice. I told you when we began the series, the number question that I've been asked, after 35 years of ministry, is how can I hear God? Probably the number two question would be how can I know it's God? And I want you to understand that it's not wrong to ask God to confirm his word. As a matter of fact, it's scriptural. But let me give you a few scriptures before we get to Judges 6. Mark 16:20 says: "And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and," — watch these three words: "Confirming the word through the accompanying signs". Amen.
This is a verse about God confirming his word, where Jesus is quoting the law, quoting from Deuteronomy. And he's talking about when you have an offended brother, you go to him first by yourself, and then you take someone else with you if he doesn't hear you. Matthew 18:16. "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that," — now, here's the quote from the Old Testament: "By the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be established". This word established means made firm. Every word may be made firm, which is actually what the word confirm means. It means to make something firm. So that's when we ask God to confirm it, to establish it, to make it firm. And then Paul quotes this verse as well from the Old Testament. 2 Corinthians 13:1. Says: "This will be the third time I'm coming to you". It's actually the third letter that he wrote, even though we call it 2 Corinthians. "This will be the third time I'm coming to you. By the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established".
So how do we call for confirmation? How do we ask God to confirm it? Let's start in Judges 6. If you remember, this is the story of Gideon. He asked a fleece. Everyone knows about Gideon's fleece. But even before he asked for the fleece, he asked God to confirm his word. All right? And I want to explain something to you. There were so many scriptures I could read, so let's go back to the quiet time. Read all of Judges 6 and 7, you'll love it. But it says that the angel of the Lord came and set under a terebinth tree, and began to talk with Gideon.
Now, I need you to understand that most theologians, and I would be one of those included in this category, believe that when the Old Testament says the angel of the Lord, that it's referring to Jesus. It's referring to God himself. Not an angel, but the angel of the Lord. And it's normally always capitalized, but here's one of the proof texts of why we believe that it's God. Because four times in Judges 6, when Gideon is talking to the angel of the Lord, it will say, "And the Lord said to him," and it's referring to the angel of the Lord. But it says — so Gideon said this, "And the Lord," he's talking to the angel of the Lord, but it says, the Bible says, "And the Lord said to him". So this is just one of the passages that we believe is a proof text that shows the angel of the Lord is the Lord himself, or Jesus. All right? So we're picking up on this, all right?
Judges 6:16. "And the Lord said to him, 'Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man'. Then he," — this is Gideon: "Said to Him", capital H again, Him: "If now I found favor in your sight, then show me a sign that it is you who talk with me". Even Gideon asked for confirmation that he was hearing God's voice. Judges 6:18. He said: "'Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to you and bring out my offering and set it before you'. And He," — capital H, God. Jesus, "Said, 'I will wait until you come back'". Now, I need to say something about this. This, to me, is one of the most amazing passages in the Bible. The Lord comes to the earth, talks to Gideon, and Gideon says, "Show me a sign that it is you who talks with me. I need to know it's you, God". And Gideon says, "Here's the sign. Let me prepare an offering for you". And God says, "I'll wait".
Please, let this dawn on you. God will wait for you to know that it's Him. He's okay. He has all eternity. But we just don't think about this, because of our society today. There were no drive-thru's. There were no microwaves. He had to kill the goat, and clean it. This was a several hour process. And then, he brings it back. Remember, he's asking for a sign. He brings it back. The Lord has a staff in his hand, is what it says. He took the staff, and he touched — Gideon put the meat, cooked meat, on a rock. Poured broth over it. The Lord touched it with the end of the staff, and this is what it says: "And fire came out of the rock and consumed all of it". I would say he got a sign. What do you think? Would that be a sign?
Okay. After he gets the sign, guess what he does? Asks for another sign. And it doesn't make God mad. Look, let's read down. Look at Judges 6:36. This is where the fleece comes in. A fleece is wool from a lamb. "So Gideon said to God, 'If you will save Israel by my hand as you have said — look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said'. And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water".
Okay. There's another sign. Would you believe now? Next verse, Judges 6:39. "Then Gideon said to God, 'Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more," — look at the patience of God. You would think at some point, he'd say, "I'm going to go to someone else. Now you're asking for a third sign". "'Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece. Let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew'. And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground".
So, let me just go on with the story some, and then the points we'll cover kind of quickly. But this is just such a great story. So Gideon calls for the whole army of Israel. 32.000 men show up. And the Lord says, "This is too many. Because if you win with 32.000 men, you'll take the glory for yourself. You'll all think it's because your army was big and strong". So he says, "I want you to make an announcement that anyone who is afraid can go home". Now, remember, think of the number. 32.000 men are there. Gideon says, "If anyone is afraid, you can go home". 22.000 left. I could just see the announcement. "If anyone's afraid, you can go home". "I'm kind of afraid. You afraid"? "Bless you. Hey, we're going to head out. But our prayers are with you". "We'll be praying for you, Gideon".
10.000 left, so he's still thinking, hey, I got at least 10.000. You know what God says? "Too many. You'll still take the credit. So take 'em down to the river, and every man who laps water like a dog, you set him over to the side". Now, you know Gideon's thinking, oh, this is great. We're going to get rid of the crazies. And God says, "Take the dog lappers with you. That's your army. The dog lappers". You know, there's a guy over there, going — you know, like — okay. And then, listen. Gideon needs another sign. And God says, "Sneak down to the Midian camp at night. I have prepared an encouraging word for you". He goes down. Gets behind a tree or something. Hears a Midianite soldier telling other soldiers, "I had a dream last night. I had dreamed that a loaf of bread rolled down the hill and hit my tent. It knocked it over flat, and then it went through and knocked over all of our tents". And one of the other soldiers says, "That means that it's Gideon. That's the sword of Gideon. God's on his side, God's not on our side, and we're going to lose". And encouraged Gideon.
There are three confirmations in scripture that — get this, they work every time, for every person. Not just for the special people. They work every time. Every time, for every person. How can you know that you're God? Now, I put 'em in the form of questions. So we'll go through the questions in a moment. But you know how I am about alliteration. I like for my points to begin with the same letter, but I didn't feel led to do that with these, but I still thought of how I could do some alliteration. I'm just gifted. It's just so — if you want to write 'em down, you can remember. So it's — number one, his word, his wisdom, and his ways. His word, his wisdom, and his ways. Now, I am so gifted, I thought of three more, with a different letter. Okay, look at this. His principles, his people, and his peace. His principles. His word, his principles. His wisdom, his people. We're going to know about counsel. His ways, his peace. I got three more. I love to do this. All right, here are three more. His character, his counsel, or his calm.
So here's point number one: does it line up with the Bible? Does it line up with God's word, his principles, and his character? Does it line up with the Bible? Hear this. God's voice will never disagree with God's word. God's voice will never disagree with God's word. Matthew 19:3-4. "Then the Pharisees also came to him, testing him, and saying to him, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason'"? Now, you need to know something. The word just was added by the translators. It's not in the Greek. So what they said was, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason"? Any reason. Watch his answer. "And he answered and said to them, 'Have you not read,'" — okay. Now, he goes on. They said, "Yeah, but Moses said because the — you know, he permitted the divorce". Jesus said, "Yes, because of the hardness of your heart".
But here's the point. They said, "We'd like a word from God". He said, "Why don't you read the Bible? You want a word from God, on marriage and divorce? Read the Bible". "Have you not read," — God's word speaks. Don't ever tell me you have a word from God, and the Bible doesn't agree with it. And here's what people do. They'll take one scripture out of context, and they'll try to prove it. They'll say, "Yeah, but I got a scripture on it". Okay. We're not talking about one scripture.
Now, the Bible will never contradict itself, but your interpretation of the Bible might contradict the whole word. So we're talking about the whole word. Does the whole word agree with it? And I've told you this before, just kind of some funny stuff. You can take one scripture out of context, and prove just about anything you want to. For instance, you can prove, by the Bible, that David had a motorcycle. It says David's triumph was heard throughout the land. You can prove that Moses played tennis. It says Moses refused to serve in the courts of Pharaoh.
All right, so, does it agree with the Bible? Does it line up with the Bible? Number two: does Godly counsel agree? Does Godly counsel agree? Not goodly counsel. Here's what people do. They'll go to someone, say, "What do you think"? They say, "I don't think that's God". They go to someone else. "What do you think"? "I don't think that's God," They go to someone else. "What do you think"? "I think that's good". "I agree with you". That's not Godly counsel. Let me tell you what godly counsel is. The simplest definition. It's people who really know God, know his word, and know you. And they can say, "I think you're going a little fast". So don't just go to anybody. Go to a Godly, mature believer.
Let me give you a few scriptures on counsel. Proverbs 12:15. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise". Proverbs 19:20-21. "Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days. There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel," — not just good counsel, God's counsel: "The Lord's counsel — that will stand". Proverbs 24:6. "For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety". Is it wise counsel? Here's a good question. Is it stupid counsel?
Rehoboam takes over as king, says to his father's counselors, "What should I do"? They said — this is amazing for any leadership position you ever serve in. They said to him, "If you will serve the people, they will be your servants forever". Great counsel. If you'll be a servant, they'll serve the vision God's given you. But it says Rehoboam didn't listen to the counselors of his father. Instead, he went to his friends. His friends said, "You tell them if you think my father's hand was heavy, my little finger is heavier than his whole hand". Get this. Have you ever heard of the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom? That happened because of Rehoboam. It divided the church. It split God's people. Please, get Godly counsel.
So does it line up with the Bible, does Godly counsel agree? Here's number three: do I have peace? Do I have peace? You can't imagine how big this is. How God created you with this gauge inside of you. Whether you have peace or not. Colossians 3:15 says: "And the peace of God — let the peace of God rule in your hearts," — now, you know the New Testament was written in Greek. Some of the words that Paul uses are from sporting events. This is one of 'em. This word actually means umpire. It's from a sporting event, and it's the umpire. "Let the peace of God umpire in your heart". Let God's peace tell you whether this is safe for you, or whether you should get out of this situation.
Now, I want you to think about this. How many times have you not had peace? And many times, we do it anyway. God never leads through fear. He always leads through faith. Always. If you don't have peace, get out. Philippians 4:7. "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding," — this word for understanding is the word reasoning. Logic. Passes all of your logical reasonings. The peace of God: "Will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus". The word guard here from the Greek is a military term. Not a sporting term, it's a military term, and it means a garrison of soldiers. A garrison of soldiers. A garrison of God's angels will guard your heart and your mind if you walk in peace.
That was good. There wasn't one amen. Now, I'm just going to, no, it's too late. Too late. No, you're not going to — all right. Isn't that good, though? How many times has your mind been troubled, and you hadn't been able to go to sleep? It's 'cause you're going somewhere, and you don't have peace. If you just simply say, "God, I'll stop". The peace comes back, just like that. I'm not going to move. If I don't have peace, I'm not moving. This is what God does. God will give you a word, and he'll confirm that word. It will line up with his word. Godly counsel will agree, and you will have peace.
Let me tell you about a time. A friend of mine and I went into former Yugoslavia during the civil war. We actually were preaching about 30 miles from the civil war. We could hear bombs, and guns going off. And when we got up to the border, there was this big, long line. And he had a Red Cross badge. And so, when they saw that, we — they said, "Oh, you come this way". So we go right around everybody, show 'em the Red Cross badge. Boom. They just let us in, just like that.
So we got in, and then he went one way to preach in a church. I went another way to preach in a church. We're going down the road, and I'm sitting in the passenger's seat. There's four of us. Three Yugoslavians and me. And I'm sitting there, and we come up to a checkpoint. There's a guard on our side of the road, and a guard on the other side of the road. He stops us. He says to the driver, in Slavic, "Papers". And the driver pulls his papers out. Then, instead of coming to me, he goes to the guy in the backseat. He says, "Papers". He pulls his papers out. Then, the other guy in the backseat. "Papers". Pulls his papers out. Says to me, "Papers".
Now, I didn't have any papers. I didn't have a clue what he was talking about, you know? And so, he says to me, again, in Slavic, but — "Papers". You know. And I'm just sitting there. I don't know what to do. Now, while he's going around the three guys, this pretty girl on a bicycle pulls up on the other side of the road, and starts talking to the guard. Our guard starts looking over. He wants to be over there with the pretty girl. God will use anything to get his word out. So he's saying to me, "Papers". He wants to get it over with, so he can go talk to the pretty girl, you know? And then, the driver from Yugoslavia says, "He's from Dallas". He didn't say Texas, and we're overseas, in another country. Most people would say, "USA". They don't even say America, if you've ever traveled abroad. They say, "USA". Most would say USA. Or Texas, even. He said, "Dallas". "He's from Dallas".
Here's what the guard did. The guard went, "Oh, Dallas Cowboys". I said, "Yes, Dallas Cowboys". He said, "Go on". So we take off, and I'm kind of laughing, I think it's funny. These three guys aren't laughing. I said, "What's going on"? They said, "Well, we went to get your VISA last week, and we couldn't get it. And you don't have any papers". And I said, "Well, what does that mean"? They said, "Well last year, we had a passenger from America. He didn't have papers, and they put him in jail for six months". Praise the Lord. Well, as the day went on, that realization began to minister to me. And I got scared. And that night, I couldn't sleep. And I got up, and I walked outside. And I said, "God, I got to have a word. I got to have a word from you". And I looked up, and I saw the Big Dipper. And God said to me, "I hold those stars in place, and I'll take care of you".
You know, I was in a situation in that foreign country where I needed a word from God. And I'm wondering if you're in a situation right now, and you need a word from God. I want to encourage you to take some time and enter his presence, and seek the Lord. And then, just simply ask these three questions. Does it line up with the Bible? Would Godly counsel agree? And do I have peace? God is speaking.