Putting Out the Fleece without Getting Fleeced

Gideon said to God, . . . “Behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me.”
–Judges 6:36–37

Imagine you’re facing a perplexing problem, so you begin reading the Bible every day. However, you don’t find an answer to your problem in the Bible. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, . . . and it will be given to him.” So you begin faithfully praying every morning, “Lord, show me what You would have me do.” Yet you still receive no direct word from God about His will for your life. So you think, Why not ask God for a sign?

That’s the line of reasoning I used some years ago with disappointing results. At the time, I had been a youth minister for seven years. But I knew God had called me to be a pastor, and I was getting restless. One day, the pastor of a megachurch called and said, “Robert, I’d like you to come to our church and be a pastor on our staff.” That will get me closer to my goal, I thought. So I flew out and met with the pastor. He said, “I think this is going to work. I’ll contact you after I work things out with the personnel committee.”

A few months went by, and there was no word. One afternoon during a staff meeting, I prayed silently, Lord, if You want me to go to that church, I need a sign from You today. After the meeting, I received a message: the pastor of that megachurch had called. He said, “I just wanted to check in and see how things are going. I’m still working things out, but you’ll hear from me soon.” I thought, What could be more of a sign than that? I was ready to pack my bags!

The pastor did call back as he had promised, but not with the results I expected. He said, “Robert, we’re going through some tremendous turmoil in our church, and I don’t think it would be fair to bring you into this situation.”

Talk about disappointment! I thought, God, what kind of cruel trick are You playing on me? I asked for a sign. You apparently gave me a sign, but then You pulled the rug out from under me.

Because of that experience, I began looking at what God’s Word says about using supernatural signs and circumstances to determine God’s will. Does God give His people supernatural signs today? If so, is asking for a sign the best way to determine God’s will? This week, we’re going to discover what the Bible says about asking for a sign from God.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “Putting Out the Fleece without Getting Fleeced” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

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