Through the Word in 2020 / April 17 – Not Getting “Fleeced”


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If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at reid.ferguson@gmail.com, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using. It’s never too late to start.
We have 4 passages to consider today –
One topic which comes up over and over in the Christian life is decision making and the will of God.
As Believers and those wanting to please our God, we naturally seek His guidance in making good decisions. Additionally, no one likes the experience of deciding to do something only to have it turn into a cause for great regret.
We like certainty. And generally, we want to do what is pleasing to our God.
Fortunately, Scripture isn’t negligent in giving us good principles for making sound decisions.
Principles like: We are to be occupied with what God HAS revealed, not with what He hasn’t.  Deut. 29:29.
That we look to His Word rather than feelings, signs, impressions or omens.
That coincidence is not necessarily leading.
Using the good old common sense God had given us to exercise.
I’m of the opinion that the single most neglected spiritual gift among Christians just might be grey matter.
And then there is the wisdom of others with sound experience to bring to the table.
But there is one “supposed” method which many appeal to that is part of our reading in Judges today – usually called “putting out a fleece.”
And here is a vital lesson for us to learn in life as well as in Bible study: Just because an action or event is recorded – doesn’t mean it is meant to be adopted or replicated by us.
The truth is, as you read Gideon’s account carefully, he is not commended for using the “fleece” method.
It was in the end a sign of his own unbelief, cowardice and God’s patience with him – not an endorsement.
By the time we get to Gideon putting out his fleece, he had already been given no less than 7 “signs” already.
In 6:11-13 he had an angelic visitation.
In 14-17 – A divine commission.
In 18 – He requested the angel to remain and he did.
In 21 – Gideon’s offering was miraculously consumed.
In 22 & 23 He was given divine reassurance.
In 25-30 He is given a test commission which goes well.
And in 31 & 32 he gets surprising support from his father, and a hands-off policy adopted by the naysayers.
So by the time we get to the fleece episode, what we have is a picture of how patient and condescending God was to Gideon’s cowardice and continuing unbelief – NOT, a method for determining God’s will.
Gideon already knew God’s will. That was clearly articulated to him in vs. 14.
He, was continually looking for a way out. That’s his motive in putting out his – fleece.
God’s will, in the things we NEED to know, is already stored up for us in His Word.
In fact, God leaves give us both remarkable freedom in making choices. So let me suggest a simple process that might free you from some anxiety, and keep you from a semi-superstitious method like putting out a fleece.
Ask:
1. Will my choice prevent or hinder me from doing anything God expressly commands me to do in His Word?
2. Will my choice cause me to do anything God expressly forbids me from doing in His Word?
3. Have I weighed to pros and cons, and am thus using my best wisdom?
4. Then make the choice that seems most in keeping with sound wisdom, and commit it to the Lord, being willing to have Him change course providentially.
Trust Him to be faithful in everything you place in His hands.
Don’t be a Gideon. You’ll only get fleeced.
Let that soak into your soul today.
God bless – and God willing, we’ll be back Monday. Have a great weekend in Christ.

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