36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 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.” Judges 6:36-37 NIV
A couple of weeks ago, I shared how this passage was the most memorable one concerning Gideon, although others may disagree. Gideon doubted or hesitated and asked God for one more, actually two more signs before moving forward into battle. Let’s explore doubt as it relates to God.
I was saved when I was 8 years old, but came under extreme conviction and doubt when I was twelve. Later I found out that this was normal. As children we first embrace our world through rote learning. We memorize lots of facts that others share as building blocks for life. This also includes our spiritual upbringing, which is why it is important to expose our children to quality Bible teaching.
I learned about Jesus from my preschool Sunday School teacher. I read the illustrated Bible at the dentist office. I had great flannelgraph Bible lessons that gave images of the miracles and other Bible stories. I participated in Vacation Bible School and Royal Ambassadors (RA’s). I absorbed and memorized much, yet at 12 I was unsure of my salvation.
Around 10-13 a physiological change occurs in our brain thinking, we start to encounter our world through abstract learning. God and Jesus are not just historical figures in a book, but personalities for us to experience. We find there are multiple ways to come up with an answer. We are trying to answer the big questions of “why am I here?” or “how do I fit into this world?” or the big one “I’m alive now, but what is going to happen to me after I die?”
At 12, I was awakened to a new reality of hell, which including an eternal separation from God as well as eternal punishment. I had dreams about what would happen to me. I just couldn’t remember if I was truly saved and what might happen if I died. Fear had entered into my life as well as doubt.
I went to see my Pastor and shared the thoughts I was having. Rather than try to convince me of whether I made the right decision for salvation as a child, he asked if I would be willing to receive Jesus into my life right now.
He shared the story of how elephants remember. As a very small elephant they are chained to a very strong metal stake in the ground. The elephant tries to escape but the chain and the stake hold strong. When the elephant is older, a simple rope and a wooden stake in the ground is all that is needed for the elephant t to remember that he is incapable of escaping. One only needs to drive a good strong stake in the ground for a good reminder. Praying with someone for salivation is a good stake in the ground activity. Telling others what you did also helps seal the deal.
Was there any reason not to yield my life to Him? I was willing and ready to devote my life to Jesus. He led me through a prayer.
“Dear Jesus, I know that I have sinned against You. I have violated many of Your laws that were given to help me live in a pure way. Please forgive me! I ask that You come into my heart and make me clean. Thank You that You said, “if I will open up the door of my heart, then You will come into my life,” Amen
After that prayer two things happened. One, I knew that I was saved at 8. This rededication confirmed the reality of that first experience. I remembered praying with the deacon after a service.
Secondly, the Holy Spirit presence pushed the doubt away. The Bible says that the Spirit will bear witness with our spirit that we are children of God. He gives us the awareness to call God, abba or daddy. Paul said that the work of the Holy Spirit’s presence is to be a seal, a guarantee, and a stamp of confirmation of that God has promised including keeping us as His until He returns.
Thomas believed in a resurrected Jesus when he touched His scars from the crucifixion. Jesus said a blessing exists for those who believe and yet have not seen. That blessing includes all subsequent followers of Jesus.
I have not doubted my salvation since that experience. I have questioned my devotion. Knowing how good God has been to me, “why would I still sin?”, that is definitely another question for another time.
Facts about Jesus and God’s love only take you to the door of your heart. You have to open it up for Him to come in. Have you sealed the deal of your salvation? Knowing all that you know, you approach receiving Jesus just like a child. You humbly ask for Him to take your life and make you His own child.
May God help you with your doubts concerning salvation and your eternal destiny. It has everlasting implications…choose wisely.
Blessings Love y’all