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Summary: This message looks at the unusual "fleece" request that Gideon makes and then considers whether we are allowed to make similar requests.

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 (quickview) .

- 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 (quickview) ; Psalm 78:18 (quickview) , 41, 56; Psalm 106:14 (quickview) ; Matthew 4:7 (quickview) ; Luke 4:12 (quickview) .

- 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 (quickview) ; Mark 8:11 (quickview) ; Luke 11:16 (quickview) ; John 2:18 (quickview) ; John 4:48 (quickview) ; John 6:30 (quickview) ; 1 Corinthians 1:22 (quickview) .

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

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

- John 7:16-17 (quickview)  - 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 reran the tests and the growth was gone. There are the two pictures – it’s there in one, it’s gone two days later. My cousin, who hasn’t been to church in a long time, told one of our relatives that it was a miracle (a sign, if there ever was one) and that he needed to get back in church. He never went once.


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commented on Aug 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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