Putting Out the Fleece (Part 2): Non-Fleece Guidance from God

I begin with an apology. A number of you read the previous post on Gideon’s fleece with interest – followed by mild irritation. After blowing up a favorite method for figuring out God’s will, I left you hanging with no “how to” (if you think I did that just to get you to read this post, you’re giving me too much credit for strategic thinking).

So without further delay, let me provide you with what I see as a biblical alternative to “fleecing” in the form of a few guiding principles. The first two describe a specific scriptural mindset about God’s will – followed by a few principles of “how to.” Space only permits me to cover one principle in each of the next several posts.

Principle #1: Trust God’s Good Heart Toward You

We can rest assured that God has plans for us. He who numbers the very hairs of our heads is certainly not disinterested in the unfolding chapters of our life story. Jeremiah comforted Israel (a disobedient and idolatrous Israel, I might add) with the words, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11). If this is true for the struggling Israelites, how much more so for those who’ve been declared perfect in Christ?

We can also be confident that God is not trying to prevent us from knowing His plan, but delights in revealing it to us.

  • “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. . .” (Psa. 37:23).
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6)
  • “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” (Psa. 32:8).

What a wonderful picture! God is “counseling” you with such keen personal interest that He won’t take His eye off you while He does it. Even with the best of intentions, we’re all prone to veer off the path and toward the ditch. But our loving heavenly Father is always right there to gently guide us back onto the path.

Is your God a condemning judge just waiting for you to make a mistake? Is He distant and uninvolved in the real world of your daily experience? If so, look at Him through the clarifying lens of the Gospel. Paul gets it right in Romans 8:32:

“He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?”

Certainly “all things” includes the guidance we require to get through life without making a wreck of things. This is our good and gracious God. He wants to guide you toward the amazing plans that His good heart has devised for you. You can safely trust Him to do what He promised.

About Sam Harbin
I am the President of Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA as well as the Chair and Professor of Pastoral Theology.

One Response to Putting Out the Fleece (Part 2): Non-Fleece Guidance from God

  1. Ray Chiang says:

    In reading your blog, I thought of my fleece test for God and it is on the basketball court. When I am shooting hoops by myself I often think about things of life. Every once and a while I think “God if you want me to do this thing, show me by letting me make this shot. It is usually a half court shot with very little likeyhood of going in. I feel like Gideon and in that I know the answer to my question but am still looking for God to confirm it by allowing me to “hit the shot”.
    Thanks for the post!

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