I have heard this so many times but have never really seen it as something that new testamant believers have been instructed to do. Even though this is used for a variety of decisions, it seems to be predominantly when it comes to relationships and choosing a life partner. The person then waits to ‘get a confirmation from God’ so that they know if their partner is ‘the one’.
Now let me make this clear. I am NOT saying that God cannot give a confirmation, but what I AM saying is that we are not obliged, required or instructed to wait for one. It is this REQUIREMENT that has become a tradition of man. Some people refuse to make a decision until they get a confirmation or a sign from God.
I have tried to find the scriptural basis for this for myself and cannot find any so did a bit of research to see where other people are finding it from.
One came from 2 Corinthians 13:1 - “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established”
Here Paul quotes Deuteronomy 19:15 which was to be used in the case of a crime where a single witness was not sufficient. If we look at the context of 2 Corinthians 13, we have to go back to chapter 12:20-21 and see that he was talking about how he would deal with sin in the Corinthian church. Compare this with Matthew 18:15-21. It is not saying that we must ask God for a confirmation before we do anything as some teach.
Further examples where God gave a confirmation was when Samuel anoints David to be King (1 Samuel 16: 1-13), when Jeremiah is instructed to buy a field (Jeremiah 32: 6-9), and with Gideon asking about saving Israel. (Judges 6:36-40) but we must remember that Samuel, Jeremiah and David did not have what we have today and that is the Word of God and the Holy Spirit residing in us so we cannot compare our situation directly with theirs. Nor can we take those narratives to say because they got one, that we must do it as well.
The problem with seeking confirmation or sign from God is that both Matthew 12:39 and Matthew 16:4 tell us that “an evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign“.
So if we shouldn’t wait for a confirmation or sign from God, what should be done instead? This is one of the main questions that many Christians ask when it comes to knowing God’s will in a situation and it seems as if it is a minefield. First of all, please read the answer given below from Got Questions
Question: “How can I know God’s will for my life? What does the Bible say about knowing God’s will?”
There are two keys to knowing God’s will for a given situation: 1) Make sure what you are asking for or considering doing is not something the Bible forbids. 2) Make sure what you are asking for or considering doing will glorify God and help you grow spiritually. If these two things are true and God still is not giving you what you are asking, then it is likely not God’s will for you to have what you are asking for. Or, perhaps you just need to wait a while longer for it. Knowing God’s will is sometimes difficult. People want God to tell them specifically what to do—where to work, where to live, whom to marry, etc. God rarely gives people information that direct and specific. God allows us to make choices regarding those things.
To hopefully answer this question practically, I will give some scenarios and examples (including the relationship question), which I know are not exhaustive, but I do believe that sometimes we can complicate things. I think the principles can be used in almost every area.
Scenario 1 : “I have been praying about dating this person who is not a Christian and want to know what God’s will is”
My Answer: No need to pray. God has explicitly told us in scripture that we should not be yoked with unbelievers so dont try to get God to come down yo your standard. Go up to his. Oil and water will not mix. No matter how much you shake it.
Lesson learnt: There are some things where God’s will are explicitly explained in the bible
Scenario 2: I am looking for a spouse. How do I know if they are “the one”?
My Answer: ‘The ‘one’ is normally a myth. But God have given us some guidelines. Questions to ask yourself would be things like, are they a Christian? Do they love God and is this shown by their fruits? Do they encourage you to get closer to God or further away from him? Are they interested in prayer and the bible? And last but not least, are you attracted to them? If so, make yourself available and go for it!! Now as you can see, there will probably be more than one person in the world who might fit that description, so I believe that God says, be prayerful and YOU make a choice and YOU pick. Difficulties down the line is not necessarily proof that it wasnt Gods will but can be just God shaping our character and conforming us to Jesus’ image. All relationships will have their ups and downs.
Lesson learnt: There are some things where God has not given us specific instructions, but has given us enough guidelines and principles to work with
Scenario 3: How do I know which school to send my child to?
My Answer: As there is no scripture verse which tells you the exact school, get all the relevant information taking into account distance, reputation, league tables and then again, be prayerful and based on that information, choose a school
Lesson learnt: Again, there are some things which are not explained in scripture at all and are not within themselves sinful and God has allowed us to make our own wise decisions based on the information that you have at your disposal. I’m sure many of you do not pray everytime you go shopping asking God which products to choose.
We must remember that as Christians, the Holy Spirit is constantly guiding us, and the fact that we may go through some ‘stuff’ is no indication that it was not God’s will or that it happened because we didnt seek God for a confirmation first of all. It was God’s will that Jesus should be tempted of the devil, it was God’s will that Jesus suffered and died on the cross, it is God’s will that those who live godly will suffer persecution.
As I have stated above, there is no biblical basis that believers MUST get a confirmation before making any decision. Jesus never instructed us to do so, the disciples were not instructed to do and Paul was never instructed to do so.
BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF