Links Daily Devotional

The Unknown

Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—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)

Mike Davis, the USGA’s executive director, upset more than a few of the boys a few weeks back when he suggested that if a player hasn’t previewed Chambers Bay, the site of this year’s U.S. Open, more than a couple of times, he will have no chance of winning.

This may be no issue for players named Mickelson and Woods and a few others, who make a habit of flying in early via private jet to get in some extra work. But this is America’s championship and to say that the little guy or the adventurer has no chance—well, you might as well throw out a perfectly good apple pie or fly your flag upside-down.

Americans have a love affair with the unknown. Sort of. If the unknown has a chance of offering glory and honor, we’re all for it. The same could be said for the Brits, of course. A fair number of men with “Sir” before their name possess that title for their courage to try and ability to survive a trailblazing challenge.

But most of us are not beknighted and we balk at the unknown. Heck, when was the last time you tried an unfamiliar green lying on your dinner plate?

Most of us, when it comes right down to it, as they say, are much more like Moses or Thomas. We’d like to see what we’re up against, know what’s around that blind corner, be sure we’re properly outfitted before saying, “Yes, I’ll do it.” We even have an erudite defensive position for this hesitation; we call it due diligence.

The trouble with all this hesitation (OK, we can call it “care”) is that in Christ we are supposed to be people of faith. We hear God’s call and we go, certain that he’s got everything under control. Which sounds outstanding in theory. Or when it applies to others. Or when we’re out of all “sane” options. But in our real worlds… hmm.

We could call Gideon’s fleece the original due diligence. Perhaps distrusting of his own ability to hear from the Lord, Gideon asked for some assurances that he had the right guy, that he was hearing just what God would have him hear. It’s not fair, really, that Gideon gets such a bad rap for this hesitation. Earlier in the chapter, when God had first come to him with a difficult task, Gideon went right to work. And maybe that’s where our best lesson lies today.

As followers of Jesus, we should not fear the unknown when it is clear that God has given us direction and not when there are so many other things to fear, such as our own “best judgment,” our pride, our self-preserving tendencies. You’ve likely never heard someone suggest that you should “be like Gideon,” but let’s go there today. Let’s be sure we have the Lord’s leading and then let’s dive into that leading with full conviction, even if we don’t have full knowledge of what is to come.

Jeff Hopper
June 3, 2015
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