What’s wrong with laying a fleece before God?

Your day is filled with decisions. Everything from choosing what to eat for breakfast to which jobs you want to apply for, knowing you can’t stay at your current job another minute.

There are some pretty big decisions we all have to make during our time on earth. And for some reason, we expect God to make known every answer to all our decisions. We think of His will as this exact path to walk, and if we don’t have the right steps, we’ll get lost on some sinful, dangerous route.   

Sometimes the Spirit will clearly tell us what choice He desires us to make. But even then, we question. Is that God’s voice, or my own? Could He really be telling me this?

When fleeces reveal truth

Here’s where the story of Gideon comes into play. The Lord clearly told Gideon the steps to take for leading Israel (see Judges 6-8 for the full story). But Gideon still asked for proof. He tested God multiple times, wanting to make sure it was actually God talking to him, and then also wanting God to confirm that He would do what He promised.

Remembering the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:4, a wicked and adulterous generation asks for signs when it comes to wanting God to tell us what we want to hear. Gideon wasn’t necessarily wicked and adulterous, but he did prove his lack of faith, the root of what Jesus spoke of in this passage.

Gideon asked God for a sign. He wanted the Lord to confirm His word through the laying of a fleece on the ground. While we may not put our jackets on the front lawn when we want God to answer a specific question, we certainly test Him. Probably more than we realize.

Making it clear

When it comes to things like jobs, marriage, moves and thousands of other decisions that seem a little heavier than your normal, day-to-day decision, a usual go-to is prayer. We ask God to reveal His will to us. We ask that He would show us what to do. Then we wait for the signs.

How often have you said something like, “God, you need to make this really clear to me, or I’m going to assume it’s not what you want.” Or maybe you’ve said, “God, if I have just one more confirmation, I’ll know what You said to me is the right thing to do.”

Without even realizing it, we’re laying a fleece before God. We are telling Him we don’t have enough faith to take a step forward, that we want to do things on our terms. Can you imagine standing face-to-face with the God of the universe, saying, “You need to make this clearer, or I’m not going to do what you say”? Prayer is communication with the Almighty God. When we ask Him to confirm again and again, we’re showing how little faith we have in Him. When we need to have everything figured out before making a decision, we’re telling Him we don’t trust Him.

Now, this isn’t to say we should make any old decision the moment the choice is ours. We still need to come before God in prayer. Where Gideon stumbled was the fact that God had already spoken to him. He just didn’t have the faith to step out on what God had told him.

As Christ followers in 2017, we have the benefit of God’s word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. If we are genuinely seeking God’s will, the Spirit will guide us. His words will direct us. We can make decisions knowing God can use all things for His glory.

Instead of asking God again and again to make decisions for you, use the wisdom and the brain He has given you to trust in Him. Again, don’t hear that this gives you an excuse to make an unwise decision, hoping God will correct you if needed. But it frees you from the fear that the decisions you make each day could ruin you unless you have confirmation from God in the specific way you ask for it.

In what ways are you putting God in the confirmation box? How are you telling Him how to work in your life? As you move throughout each day, making hundreds of decisions, trust the Spirit to guide and protect you. Give to God the decisions you need to make, knowing He will convict and direct in exactly the way He knows you need it.    ⌊TU⌋

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