Monday, July 20, 2009

The Search For A Sign

"An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,"
Matthew 12:39

We all do this in one way or another. We want a sign from God. We want to know if He will indeed come through as He said He would. Such signs are born out of unbelief. But wait a minute, someone may say, what about Gideon? Gideon is a great example of such unbelief. God granted his sign, not to endorse the method, but in spite of it.

But there's more going on here. Jesus had already performed many miracles. What more do they need? The fact is that their demand for a sign is to put Jesus on trial and them in the judgment seat; the exact opposite of the ways things truly are. To ask God for a sign is to place ourselves at the center and God on the periphery. It is to see ourselves as being in control and God as serving us. In other words, the whole notion is born out of a topsy-turvy view of reality.
The request for signs reveals unbelief, pride, and a deficient sense of who God is. I hope it is very obvious, then, why our Lord ascribes such an action to an evil and unfaithful generation.

As I said, we do this in a variety of ways. We try to bargain with God, we think God needs to prove Himself to us, etc. It is all entirely out of line. God will not respond to it. The person who functions like this can expect to hear one thing from God- silence.

God will not be pushed around, manipulated, or set up for some kind of deal. God will be loved, trusted, and obeyed. This may sound very harsh. But the truth is that when we choose to respond to God in this way, we find that things turn out a whole lot better anyway. That's because God is much smarter and wiser than we are. He also has our best interests at heart which, ironically, we do not always have. We must have things in the right order. God must be in control and we are to serve Him.

Today and always, may we come to the end of such seeking after signs, and place ourselves without compromise into the faithful and loving hands of God.

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