Gideon: How to and Not to Find God’s Will 5/21/00

Judges 6:36-40

JESUS CHRIST wants to give you divine guidance more than you want to receive it.

Have you ever said something like: “I would be glad to do God’s will if He would just give it to me in writing.” Yet, the Scripture says, “We walk by faith not by sight.”

Finding God’s will is one of the major faith-walks of the Christian experience. It is both simple and complex. Certain parts of His will are clear in Scripture. Others require application of Biblical principles as guidelines to knowing it. Knowing God’s will is critically important for all believers.

Years ago a young man was seen alongside the road with his car hood up looking under it with consternation. A chauffeur-driven limo pulled up and a man got out, watched a moment, and told the young driver what to do. He was desperate and ready to try anything. The car started instantly. The young man asked, “How did you know what to do?” “Well,” said the stranger, “I am Henry Ford and I built the car, so I know all about how it works.”

For precisely that reason we need to know God’s way of doing things. He made us and wants to give us instructions.

The Scripture says “So then do not be foolish, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17).

Gideon was a person who wanted it in black and white. He was a “show me God” type person. He wanted to know God’s will regarding an upcoming confrontation. So he put out a fleece and told God to let him know His will by allowing the fleece only to have dew on it and for the ground to be dry in the morning. The next morning the fleece was covered with moisture and the ground dry. Gideon still had doubts. He thought it might have been coincidence so he reversed the process and asked the Lord to let the fleece be dry and the ground be wet be next night.

Is that technique to be considered standard operating procedure for Christians? NO! How do we know it isn’t. There are several reasons, but one is that if it were we would not be asked to walk by faith and not by fleece. Notice:

GIDEON ALREADY KNEW GOD’S WILL. It wasn’t faith that stimulated Gideon to use the fleece. It was doubt. Notice that twice in verses 36 and 37 Gideon said, “as Thou hast spoken…”

Gideon’s problem wasn’t knowledge it was faith and resulting obedience. That is most often our case. Gideon was skeptical about trusting God’s Word. Obedience to the known is the first essential to finding the unknown.

There is no need to come to God asking for more of His will to be revealed if you are not doing what you already know to do. He is not going to reveal more to you not to do. Once He sees your obedience in doing what you know to do, it pleases Him to reveal more to you to do.

It is like a child coming to a parent with one hand behind its back and asking for more cookies. When the child is persuaded to reveal the hidden hand, it is full of cookies. The parent then says, “Eat those you have and then I will give you more.”

In Judges 6:11 Gideon is seen beating out wheat when the Lord Jesus, as the Angel of the Lord appears to him. In verses 12, 14, 16 Gideon is clearly told three times what the will of the Lord was.

Through the miracle of verse 21 Gideon had no cause for further doubt as to the will of God. Gideon knew God’s will.

FLEECE SETTING SUPERSEDES GOD’S WORD IN IMPORTANCE. Gideon’s problem was doubt. Do you believe?: Psalm 32:8; 37:23, 24; 48:14 and Isaiah 58:11?

FLEECE SETTING IMPLIES AN OBLIGATION ON GOD’S BEHALF. We are instructed not to tempt the Lord. Gideon’s conduct revealed He was trying to dictate to God the standard by which he should oblige him. I respect Gideon’s confusion. He was in isolation among his peers as a believer. However, I should not let his confusion become my standard.

FLEECE SETTING SELDOM SOLVES THE PROBLEM. Gideon was enrolled in God’s slow learners class. He wanted God to do it twice.


1. We have been given a Guide. The word guidance doesn’t appear in Scripture. We often spend more time looking for guidance than we do looking to the Guide. Step number one in seeking divine guidance is keep your eyes on Jesus. Guidance comes from Him. If you are out of His will, you can’t find His will until you return through the point of your exit.

His will is never mechanical. It is always personal.

2. Godly counsel is often used to find God’s will. This is called the fourth-and-one principle. In football when there is a critical situation in which a first down is needed, the quarterback often calls time out and goes to the sideline to talk with the coach. Notice that St. Louis quarterback Kurt Warner goes over to talk with coach Dick Vermeil in these situations. He doesn’t go to the sideline and phone my fifteen year old grandson and ask his advice. If you are going to seek Spiritual counsel, seek it from an established, proven source.

3. A desire for God’s will results in it being revealed. “Delight thyself in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37: 3,4).

4. Guidance is confirmed by the peace of God. “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Col. 3:15). The word translated “rule” literally means “umpire.” Let the peace of God call safe to out things in your life. This is only possible for the person who knows and abides in the Word; one whose conscience is controlled by the Word of God.

5. Guidance is based on the written Word of God. God never contradicts His Word. If you feel you are being led to do a certain thing you know to be contrary to His Word, be assured the leadership isn’t coming from Him.

Start with the known to find the unknown. He has said that it isn’t His will for any to perish (II Peter 3:9). That leaves no doubt about it. He desires for you to be saved.

“This is the will of God, even your sanctification” (I Thess. 4:3).

Before looking for any further revelation of His will, you must be certain of these two.