By Dennis Love
Most of us are familiar with Gideon’s fleece. God has already told Gideon that He was going to use him to save Israel from the oppression of the Midianites. Matter-of-fact, God tells him three times in Judges 6 that He is going to use him to save Israel. He tells him in v12, v14, and v16. How many times does God need to say something to make it so? Only once, but Gideon wants more proof. He wants to see it with his own eyes. He’s not willing to walk by faith, he wants to walk by sight too. So, Gideon comes up with a test to make sure this is the will of the Lord. He puts some sheepskin or fleece on the ground, and then he asks the Lord to make the fleece wet and keep the ground dry around it, and then he said he would know that the Lord was going to save Israel by his hand. Well, God does exactly what Gideon asks Him to do. You see that in Judges 6:38. The fleece is not just wet, it’s soaked. It’s so full of water that he wrings a bowl full of water out of the fleece. That’s some wet fleece. Well, you would think that would do it, but it doesn’t. Gideon now turns right around and asks the Lord to reverse the conditions of the test. Instead of making the fleece wet, he now wants God to keep the fleece dry, and make the ground wet around it. So, God does this too. Well, evidently this satisfies Gideon because he doesn’t question God’s Word again. Of course, he could have just taken God at His Word and been done with it. Gideon wasted two days playing this fleece game with the Lord. I wonder how many days we have wasted playing the same kind of fleece games with God? It’s called flawed faith folks. And we are all guilty of it. We have all come up with some kind of a test to prove the Lord. In other words, we say something like this. God, if you will do this, then I will do what I know you’re calling me to do.
Now let me ask you something. Do you think it pleases the Lord for us to do that? I can tell you that putting out the fleece is not something that pleases the Lord. Let me show you the problems with it, and we will use Gideon as our example. Did not God tell Gideon what He wanted him to do? Yes, He told him in v12, v14, and v16 of Judges 6. Gideon simply lacked the faith to take God at His word. Is anybody guilty? Another problem with the fleece is the fact that Gideon is trying to dictate his terms to God. That was not Gideon’s responsibility. His responsibility was to simply obey the Word of God. Is anybody guilty? We are not called to tell the Lord how He should answer our prayers. We are simply called to obey His Word. The real problem with putting out a fleece is that fleece is always placed out of doubt and not faith. Putting out a fleece is NOT the Biblical method for determining the will of God. It is simply a method used by people like Gideon who lack the faith to simply take God at His Word. God does not guide His people today by us throwing out a fleece. You want to know how God guides His people today. Here’s how:
- God guides through His Spirit—John 16:13
- God guides through His Word—Psalm 119:105
- God guides through His peace—Colossians 3:15
- God guides through the desires He gives us—Psalm 34:3-4
- God guides us through the godly counsel of His people—Proverbs 11:14
When these 5 things are all in agreement, it’s all the fleece you will ever need, and then some. When God is guiding you, the Holy Spirit of God living within you will line up with the Word of God. And when these two line up, it will produce peace in your heart. Then the Spirit of God and the Word of God and the Peace of God will combine to give you a desire to do what God is leading or calling you to do. And last but not least, others around you will be in agreement with your decision. You don’t need a fleece to determine God’s will for your life. Forget the fleece and walk by faith. He will speak to you through His Word by His Spirit. He will then give you a desire to do His will, and He will give you peace about it, and He will confirm it through others. Think about it folks. God gets far more glory from us when we simply obey His Word than He does from us seeking a sign. Have you ever stopped to think about what could be accomplished for the glory of the Lord in our world, and in the church today, if we would simply hear the Word of God, and then do the Word of God? And the reason we don’t is that our faith, like Gideon’s, is often flawed.
Dr. Dennis Love is the Senior Pastor at Glenwood Baptist Church in Marion, NC. He and his wife Vicki have been married for 39 years. They have been in Marion for 5 years. They have two sons and three grandchildren. You can visit the Glenwood Baptist Church Facebook page or The Glenwood Baptist Church Website
You can read more good Christian News from Dennis HERE.