Fleece Signs



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  • Fleece Signs

    Is is scriptural for a New Testament believer to ask God for confirmations (fleece) regarding prayer and How do you discern the confirmation?

    The reason I ask this is a friend of mine applied to 3 different jobs. She asked the Lord that if He wanted her to take any of them then to grant her an interview. She was called for an interview for all the jobs.

    I too have prayed for confirmations and sometimes have recieved both positive and negative confirmations at the same time.

    Judges 6:38-40 Gideon said to God, "If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised--look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said." And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew--a bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew." That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew."

    God bless

  • #2
    Fleece Readings

    The expression "putting out a fleece" comes from the biblical story of Gideon as you may know. Gideon was one of the leaders that God raised up to direct His people during the period of the Judges in the early days of Israel's history. During a time of invasion by the armies of Midian, God called Gideon to rally the Israeli troops and defeat the foreign invaders. Before Gideon would commit himself to battle, however, he wanted to be sure that God was going to give Israel the victory. In Judges 6:36-40, Gideon asked God to make a fleece of wool wet with dew on one morning, then totally dry on the next morning. The fleece was to be the sign that God would definitely rescue Israel from the Midianites. God gave Gideon the sign that he asked for, and Gideon then went out and defeated the forces of Midian.

    In the Church age, should we follow the example of Gideon and "set out fleeces"? Does Judges 6 teach us that it's a good idea to ask God for signs of His approval, either of our plans or a decision that we think might be His will? How far do we carry this practice of putting out fleeces? Are fleeces reserved only for special occasions or should we expect God to give us signs every day? Is "putting out a fleece" evidence of a mature faith or an immature faith? Is our faith strengthened by fleeces or is it better not to ask God for signs?

    Twice in the Book of Matthew we find the Lord Jesus teaching that asking for signs was not a commendable strategy towards God. In fact, He said on both occasions (Matthew 12:39 and 16:4) that "an evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign." Obviously, the motives behind an evil and adulterous generation seeking a sign from God would be different from the motives of a believer wanting a sign from God. However, the Bible indicates that even a believer is evidencing an immature faith when he needs signs. Remember that our Lord rebuked the lack of faith of "doubting Thomas" with the statement, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29). We could say, then, that the rule of thumb for the growing Christian should be, "We walk by faith and not by fleeces!" Or, to quote 1 Corinthians 5:7 properly, "We walk by faith and not by sight." From this we see that the foundational teaching about the subject of asking for signs would tend to indicate that setting out fleeces is not the most mature expression of faith or pleasing response of faith towards God.

    Gideon was not operating on the basis of a strong and secure faith, but rather on the basis of a weak and insecure faith. When Gideon asked God for a sign it was after God had already promised Gideon, in no uncertain terms, that He would rescue Israel from the Midianites. The Lord first commissioned Gideon to go and defeat the Midianites: "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" (6:14). Then the Lord promised Gideon that he would be with him and he would definitely defeat the Midianites: "I will be with you, and you will strike down the Midianites as if they were but one man." (6:16). Furthermore, God had already given Gideon a confirming sign in the way He had responded to Gideon's sacrifice. "Miraculous" fire, indicating God's acceptance of Gideon and his offering, consumed the sacrifice that Gideon brought. What further evidence did Gideon need to know that the God of Israel was eager to give Gideon a complete victory over the Midianites? And yet Gideon had the audacity to say to God, "If You will save Israel by my hand as you have promised..." (6:36). How disappointing--and yet how very familiar. So often we, like Gideon, doubt the very promises that God has given us after certain promises in Scripture!

    Not only is the practice of setting out fleeces an indication of an immature faith, but it has some built-in problems associated with it. One problem is that you can never be really sure with a fleece! Suppose you ask God for a sign from heaven in order to know if you should go on a certain trip or continue a certain relationship, and three days later you see a shooting star? But then you begin to wonder, "Was that a sign from God or just a coincidence?" So what do you do next? Chances are that you'll do exactly what Gideon did--you'll "tighten the boundaries" on the sign to be really sure. "Lord, may I see three shooting stars in the northern sky in the next 48 hours, if my decision is Your will!" But can you ever put out enough fleeces to be 100 per cent sure? And where does faith end and manipulation of God begin?

    When the Pharisees and Sadducees asked Christ for a sign the Scripture says that "they tested Him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven" (Matthew 16:1). The Bible explicitly teaches that putting God to the test is a sin. "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test" (Deuteronomy 6:16). Asking God to confirm our decisions without restricting Him to doing it our way is not the same as setting out a fleece. To request that the Lord show us in some clear way if we've made or are about to make a decision that is not in accordance with His will is not the same as demanding a particular sign from God. He desires that we make right decisions, and He delights to confirm us in these decisions! We do not have to put out fleeces to remind our heavenly Father that His well-loved and intimately known children need His perfect confirmation in their walk of faith.


    • #3
      Better yet...

      To what has been said, I just would add, "And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." (2 Peter 1:17)

      What better sign could we expect than following God's word, after all?

      May God bless all.


      • #4

        Thank you for your reply's.

        It is a blessing to be able to ask questions and recieve the unadulterated milk of the word. I was confused as some teach that fleece's are acceptable. As usual the Truth set me free. Thanks again for you time and effort.

        God bless you and your's.


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