Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.Judges 6:36-38 NIV
During the time of the Judges, Israel repeatedly fell away from God and experienced oppression from other nations. Until they cried out to God. And when they did, he would raise up a judge to deliver them. And one of these judges was Gideon.
Gideon was a somewhat reluctant judge and sought verification of his calling as his people’s deliverer. He put out a fleece on the threshing floor overnight. If, in the morning, the fleece was wet and the ground dry, then he would know that God had indeed called him. And it happened that way. But Gideon was still not convinced until the opposite happened the next night.
Putting out a Fleece
I am generally not a proponent of putting out a fleece to test God, even though Gideon did and God responded to him. All too often the answer we are looking for is available in the Scripture, but we are not content with it. However, there are times when it may be appropriate.
In particular when seeking God’s direction in ministry. In the past I have served in a specific way, and I still feel called to that area of ministry. But another avenue of service is opening up to me, and it also appears to be a fruitful area of ministry. How does one decide which is appropriate for today?
I find myself in that position today. How can I know where God is calling me in this season of my life? The old way is known and comfortable. The new is unknown and will require much more effort. But more important is knowing and following God’s will in the matter. And so I have put out a fleece of sorts. Now to have the patience to wait for his answer. And the willingness to accept it.