“Keep up your courage . . . for I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me” (Acts 27:25).
Â Have you ever asked the Lord for a â€œfleece,â€ a sure sign of His will as Gideon did in Judges 6:36-40?Â I have, more than once!Â Well, maybe not a second fleece, like Gideon, to confirm the first one.Â Gideon placed a wool fleece on the threshing floor and asked for dew to be only on the fleece (v.37).Â The next morning it was! Then to be â€œdoubly sureâ€ he asked for the oppositeâ€”â€œmake the fleece dry and the ground covered with dewâ€ (v.39).
Iâ€™m glad the Lord is patient with us today as He was with Gideon–when our faith wavers and, seeing the sincerity of our heart, He graciously shows us His willâ€”one more time, in different ways as He chooses.
Godâ€™s desire for each of us is to increase our faith.Â A devotional by C. H. P., Streams in the Desert, gives us three levels of faith that I believe the Lord would have me share at this time:Â
There are three levels of faith in the Christian experience. The first is being able to believe only when we see some sign or have some strong emotion. Like Gideon, we feel the fleece and are willing to trust God if it is wet. This may be genuine faith but it is imperfect. It is continually looking to feelings or some other sign instead of the Word of God. We have taken a great step toward maturity when we trust God without relying on our feelings. It is more of a blessing when we believe without experiencing any emotion.
While the first level of faith believes when our emotions are favorable, the second believes when all feelings are absent. And the third level transcends the other two, for it is faith that believes God and His Word when circumstances, emotions, appearances, people, and human reason all seem to urge something to the contrary.
Please read that last sentence again: â€œThe third level transcends the other two, for it is faith that believes God and His Word when circumstances, emotions, appearances, people, and human reason all seem to urge something to the contrary.â€Â
Donâ€™t you desire to have this third-level faith?Â I do!Â With all my heart.Â Iâ€™m asking God to increase my faith so that I will trust Him no-matter-what.Â Now I realize this is a lifetime commitment.Â Our gracious God has brought Milt and me through some extremely difficult times.Â He has put us in the crucible day after day when all we could do was look up and trust Him with all our hearts (Proverbs 3:5).
Â When is the time to trust?
Is it when all is calm,
When waves the victor’s palm,
And life is one glad psalm
Of joy and praise?
No! For the time to trust
Is when the waves beat high,
When storm clouds fill the sky,
And prayer is one long cry,
“Oh, help and save!” â€“from Streams in the Desert