ARE FLEECES FOR TODAY?
Updated: Aug 30, 2018
Some Christians wonder if setting a fleece out for the Lord is a method of guidance God can use in modern times. Remember the story of the fleeces from Judges 6:36-40? Gideon was called to battle against the Midianites and wanted ultra-confirmation from the Lord for victory. He put a wool fleece on the ground and said if it truly was God’s will then let the fleece be wet and the ground dry. And sure enough, that’s what happened in the morning. But Gideon needed further assurance, so he asked God to do it the opposite way: Have the fleece be dry and the ground wet. And sure enough, God did so that night.
Many Christians have taken this story and put out “fleeces” before the Lord to determine God’s will. The proposition goes something like this: “If it is Your will that I do ABC, then have XYZ happen specifically. Is this okay to do in New Testament times? Will God accommodate us in this way, like Gideon? Or is there a better way to approach God’s will?
First of all, we would have to say that God had already spoken plainly to Gideon: (Judg 6:14) Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” Following this, God did something for Gideon to reinforce His calling: (Judg 6:21) Then the Angel of the Lord put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the Lord departed out of his sight. You think that would be enough! But on the heels of this was the fleece story. Wow, Gideon, what more do you want?
Like us, Gideon struggled with his faith. Kind of like . . . “Are you sure, God?” God will call us and then confirm His call, but after that we are to proceed by faith. (Heb 11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please Him . . . He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (2 Cor 5:7) For we walk by faith, not by sight. God loves it when we simply believe in Him to work out the details of our lives. We MUST TRUST! How gentle God was with Gideon. And how gentle the Lord was with Thomas, too! “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
I believe asking for a fleece might be harmless, but there is the better path of faith. And we don’t even want to get close to what people were doing in Christ’s day: But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. (Mat 12:39)
Let’s avoid any kind of neurotic approach to ascertaining God’s will. If God has spoken to you, then just let things play out in their proper time. Remember . . . fleeces may not be sure, but God’s Word is always sure! (2 Pet 1:19) We have also a more sure word of prophecy . . .