I’m not a big proponent of needing confirmation. Yes, confirmation is a necessary part of learning to hear from God and recognizing that we do, but it’s not what I aspire to walk in. Confirmation is like taking baby steps in listening to God. We think He’s speaking, but we want Him to say it, and show it, again and again before we’ll move out of our place of familiarity.
Consider the story of Gideon, beginning in Judges chapter 6. The Israelites had been under the oppression of the Midianites for seven years. When they cried out for relief, God sent an angel to speak to Gideon. God wanted Gideon to lead his people against the Midianites. Now, think about this. An angel appeared to Gideon and told him exactly what to do then miraculously sets fire to Gideon’s food offering and disappears. How does Gideon respond? He asks God for confirmation to move against the Midianites. He sets out a fleece, not once, but twice. Only after a face-to-face with an angelic being, a miraculous burning up of his offering, and two fleeces for confirmation does Gideon obey. That definitely looks like he was taking baby steps. I don’t want to take baby steps. I want the kind of faith and assurance in God that allows me to step out, not knowing where I’m going because I’m confident my Father is always communicating with me. He’s always making course corrections as we walk along together.
Look at the account of Abraham: Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” We see this same act of faith in Paul. Acts 16:6, 7 “Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.” Paul was ministering from town to town, but the Holy Spirit was constantly telling him where to go and what to avoid as he stepped out. How much more effective would we be if we could step out because God said go, not knowing where we’re going, but trusting Him for the journey?
For me, this continues to be a learning experience. I haven’t quite let go of the shore. Yes, I step out sometimes, but when I face something entirely new and bigger than I’ve ever known, I’m back to asking God for that confirmation. If I make a habit of listening to God, I need confirmation less and less. I live with a sense of knowing in my spirit whether or not something is from God. I walk on water, seeing nothing but my Savior saying, Come.