Gideon, featured prominently in Judges 6, is famous for asking God for a sign when told he will lead an army against Midianites. When told this news by angel, he demanded it from Him immediately.
Many Christians find themselves uncertain when and why it’s appropriate to ask God for a sign, often asking Him for signs that go against what Scripture clearly teaches.
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1. It’s a sign of lack of faith
If you find yourself constantly looking to God for signs that what you are doing is right, that could be a telltale sign that your faith is lacking. The Bible provides numerous examples of people struggling with fear and doubt but still being used by Him in his service; Moses, Elijah, David, Habakkuk…all people God used in some capacity in his service! Be confident in your decision as following the Lord’s will is always best; asking Him for proof could cause you to miss out on some wonderful blessings He has in store!
Apart from biblical evidence, this request for signs has no basis in reality. The only time the Bible mentions anyone asking God for confirmation of guidance through signs is Gideon (Judges 6:11-40), though even then his request was repeatedly denied by Him. Furthermore, Gideon probably requested these signs due to fearful fears he had facing Midianites; so, when he sought a sign, it may have been as an assurance from Him.
If you are praying to receive guidance from God, perhaps it is time to assess your relationship with Him. Are you following His teachings, listening to wise counsel from godly individuals and living life according to good character and wise decisions – ultimately glorifying Him with your actions?
Keep in mind that God often sends signs in unexpected ways. By asking Him directly for signs, you could miss all the ways He may already be working in your life – so let Him help you see them! Remember He has an even grander plan than what you could imagine for your future! Trust in His wisdom as He guides your journey!
2. It’s a sign of unbelief
Bible verses warn against asking God for signs as being an indicator of unbelief; in effect it would put Him through an unfair test – something forbidden by Deuteronomy 6:16! Furthermore, asking for signs is simply another way of trusting humans instead of God!
Gideon in Judges 6 provides an excellent illustration of this principle. Though God did not direct Gideon to request a sign, he nonetheless did so out of lack of faith and distrust of His promises; perhaps Gideon didn’t believe He could deliver what He promised with such a small army as his. Such requests aren’t uncommon among people who doubt what they have been instructed by Him to do.
But even more troubling, doubts often stem from within the church itself. Jesus experienced such unbelief when Pharisees and Sadducees asked Him for a sign; they wanted proof that He was who He claimed to be but ignored numerous signs that were right there in front of them; for instance, He could have healed their sick and blind people or called down fire from heaven to burn them, but He chose not to.
Jesus continued with His ministry despite this opposition from religious leaders who demanded signs to prove He was divine and had come to save them. They refused to believe Jesus as Lord or accept that he was their savior and Savior.
If you are uncertain about something that needs to be done, then it’s essential that you seek guidance from God’s Word. Reading scripture allows the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your decisions – it never tells you anything contrary to His will! Additionally, seek counsel from other Godly individuals regarding your circumstances.
3. It’s a sign of confusion
God can be found through reading the Bible and understanding Him better. We can also pray to Him for guidance or ask for signs from Him; though please remember He often uses circumstances and other believers as his means of communication. However, if asking Him for signs does not bring any response it could be an indicator that your spiritual life needs work – perhaps you’re not studying His word regularly enough or investing effort in your relationship with Him enough. In which case it might be time to adjust your habits.
Querying God for signs could be an indicator that you’re unclear of His intentions. According to scripture, we should seek wisdom and direction from Him when making difficult decisions; when asking for supernatural signs that clarify his desires we are basically abdicating the responsibility He has placed upon us for managing our lives.
Gideon repeatedly asked God for a sign. To test Him out, he laid out a fleece in the nighttime and asked that it be wet with dew upon awakening as proof that He was with him – this request was granted several times by Him, until He decided that enough signs had been shown and told Gideon he no longer required one and encouraged him to lead Israel on his own.
Jesus did not provide religious leaders with signs they were looking for; He pointed out their lack of trustworthiness as being at fault, warning them that He wouldn’t provide one as long as they kept moving the goalposts and refusing to acknowledge what was already there.
So is it wrong to pray for signs? That depends on why and how you’re asking and on how the signs that do arrive can be utilized. If your goal is determining God’s will, rather than waiting around for an unlikely sign, studying the Bible and developing relationships with Him might be better – that way you’ll know exactly what He wants rather than sitting around waiting.
4. It’s a sign of disbelief
Many people turn to God when facing difficult decisions or simply want confirmation that they’re on the right path, asking Him for signs or direction as an assurance of being righteous. While asking God for signs can be helpful in times of decision or seeking direction from wise mentors, asking for signs as an alternative form of obedience can be dangerous. Remembering the Holy Spirit never guides someone against His word should also be remembered when asking for guidance – spending more time praying and reading His word rather than looking for signs from Him can help discern His will more accurately than seeking signs from Him!
By asking for signs, it implies that you don’t trust God with managing the life He has given you. Such disbelief can be very dangerous and lead to many Christians falling away from faith.
Disbelief comes in two varieties: ignorant and intentional. Ignorant disbelief occurs when someone simply lacks the knowledge required for belief; atheists and materialists typically fall victim to this form of disbelief when it comes to God as they don’t have evidence to back up their claims.
Disbelief comes in two forms, intentional and passive disbelief. Active disbelief happens when someone decides consciously not to believe what is true – for instance those who criticize Jesus’ healing ministry or reject Biblical teachings may display this trait of disbelief.
Many believe they need a sign from God because they’ve not been praying or reading His word often enough, leading them to feel disconnected with Him. While this can be a valid concern, the most effective solution lies in developing your spiritual discipline: reading God’s word and spending time in prayer as well as seeking advice from spiritually sound people willing to speak into your life are key ways of finding guidance from Him and making the right choices in life. When signs appear for you when needed they’ll help guide your decision making processes more quickly.