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Is It Ok To Ask God For A Sign?

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Sermon shared by Jim Butcher

April 2010
Summary: This message looks at the unusual "fleece" request that Gideon makes and then considers whether we are allowed to make similar requests.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Is It Ok To Ask God For A Sign?:

1. This passage about Gideon’s fleece is a true story, but not an ironclad promise.

- Judges 6:36-40.

- God is under no obligation to answer “fleece” questions.

- Not all Bible stories are directly applicable in the sense of being able to expect God to do the same thing for you. Short of a direct promise, you can’t presume that God will do the same thing for you that He did for someone else.

- Just because something is in the Bible doesn’t mean that it’s a precedent for us to claim.

- Some misuse Scripture that is a story and treat it as a promise.


- Going back to Gideon, he was publicly looking confident, but privately He was very uncertain. What was in front of him was a huge challenge and there were many lives that would be his responsibility.

- It was a big step into the unknown. And Gideon was doing his best to obey, but was just looking for a little help.

- There are times in our lives when publicly we’re saying, “God is going to come through!” while privately we’re praying, “God, You’re going to come through, right?”





2. Demanding a sign can be an indication that we’re “putting God to the test.”

- Exodus 17:2; Psalm 78:18, 41, 56; Psalm 106:14; Matthew 4:7; Luke 4:12.

- Sometimes demanding a sign shows that we feel like God owes us something to get our obedience. And we won’t step forward until He does what we demand.

- It’s kind of like treating God like He’s our trick poodle. “Roll over!” “Bark!” “Here’s a treat!”


- We need to be wary of making threatening demands of God.

- Acting like a diva isn’t going to get you very far.


- Examples:

a. As a high school student lays on his bed: “God, if You’re really there, make this light bulb flicker.”

b. The man out of job: “God, give me a job by Friday or I’m done with You.”

c. The woman in a struggling marriage: “God, if You’re real, You will save my marriage.”


- How often is asking for a sign legitimate and how often is it a cover for not wanting to obey?


- Two images: a runner in the starting blocks eagerly awaiting the gun vs. a government bureaucrat sitting behind his desk with his arms crossed.

- The one speaks of someone eager to run the race, eager for the ok to get started.

- The other speaks of someone who will obey only after every i has been dotted and every t crossed.

- Often asking for a sign puts us more in the territory of the second image: “We’ll obey You, God, after You line everything up and let us know exactly what’s going on and how everything will progress.”



3. Signs are usually not enough to inspire belief.

- Matthew12:38; Matthew 16:1-4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; John 2:18; John 4:48; John 6:30; 1 Corinthians 1:22.

- John 12:29 – Some here a voice; some hear thunder.

- Luke 16:31 – Lazarus – even if someone rises from the dead, they won’t believe.

- John 7:16-17 - believe and then it will make sense.


- Often people asking for a sign won’t be convinced when they see it.

- A sign may guide a willing heart, but it will rarely change a reluctant one.

- Several years one of my cousins had a scare. One of his two boys was put in the hospital after a growth of some sort showed up on tests. Was it a tumor? Was it cancer? This was on a Saturday and we were anxiously awaiting the next step on Monday. On Monday, they
Comments and Shared Ideas

August 11, 2014
this sermon really says alot and an eye opener to me. all I can do is pray for strength and put my faith in Him that everything is going to be alright.

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