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Can we try the spirits by seeking a sign? August 2, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Links, Signs and Wonders, Will of God.

Asking God for a sign (great photo included)




1. ana - September 10, 2007

Whilst waiting for an answer to prayer, is asking God for a sign as encouragement) in the meantime, a form of unbelief? Will God give the sign or He will regard it as not trusting Him?

2. roberttalley - September 10, 2007

Hello Ana!

In the Scriptures, sometimes seeking a sign was seen negatively, sometimes positively, and sometimes was not clearly commented on in one way or the other. I will try to post on this sometime during the week but remember two things: (1) God is merciful and patient with our weaknesses; and (2) God wants us to go to His Word and His people for encouragement. Will write more later in a post rather than in the comments since this is such an important question.

3. mike - September 24, 2007


What about Abraham servant who was tasked to find a wife for Abrahams son Isaac? (Mat 24:12-14)

4. roberttalley - September 25, 2007

Here is an excerpt in response to your question from a sermon already posted here at (click on Abraham in Categories and it should be easy to find). I follow with a couple of other quick comments: https://roberttalley.wordpress.com/2007/06/24/the-last-sermon-in-the-series-on-abraham-isaac-gets-a-wife/


Now if God works in our lives in the same way, then it will affect how we live. One way that it will affect us, is in how we pray. Our prayers will be based on God’s mercy and on God’s promises (verses 12-14). The servant here is not bargaining with God. He is not asking for proof that God exists. He is basing His prayer on the mercy of God.

We sometimes have the idea that God only answers the prayers of good people. If that were true, God would never answer prayer. I know what some of you are thinking. David wrote, “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me.” That is certainly true. God hates sin and one way that God deals with sin is by not answering the prayers of his children who tolerate sin but the answers to prayer come not because we have been good little kids but because he is merciful.

We are in the midst of toilet training our little girl. This has been a new experience for us because our son was relatively easy to toilet train. We have resorted to the “chocolate for poddy” method. We tend to view God that way, do we not? “Lord, come, see! Lord, come, see! Will you not now answer me?”

That is not what the servant is doing here. He says, “Lord, I know if you answer this prayer it will be because of your mercy! If you answer this prayer the way I wish, then I know it will not be because of my faith but because of your mercy.” Not that this was not a prayer of faith. It was but it was not based on the servant mustering up faith in God but on the promises that God has made to Abraham.

His confidence in God’s working, like that of Abraham, was based on God’s Word. How do we know this? When God answered his prayer, the servant’s response was worship.

…….Now to your question.
The servant was not commanded to seek a sign but to act based on God’s promises to Abraham.
The servant sought the sign, not to know that God was working but because he was confident that God would work and was sure that God would answer his prayer.
Just because the servant sought a specific sign does not authorize us to do so. The narrative is not intended to teach us how to get prayers answered but about the basis for the prayer and the sign for which the servant prayed, i.e. the promise of God to Abraham. If the narrative was intended to teach us about asking for signs, then how does it fit into the rest of Genesis which is not teaching about asking for signs. The basic principle for us, for Abraham, and for the servant remains this: We must act on the clear promises of God if we are going to please Him.

5. maxie - December 10, 2009

I am suppose to bring an unexpected sign to class. Is that possible?

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