Knowing God’s Will

Bill Brinkworth

Gideon had a problem in his land that had to be dealt with. His country was overrun with Midianites, Amalekites, and the “children of the east”. He was willing to battle the enemies that took from his land and his people, but he wanted to know for sure that God was leading him to do so.

Desiring to make a decision based on God’s will and way about the matter was a wise goal. Gideon knew a move without God’s help would not have His blessing and surely would lead to defeat or trouble.

Godly people of all ages have also sought God’s will and way in many of the decisions they have had to make. Man constantly makes the wrong choices and certainly pays for it. God is perfect; anything He is directing will be successful.

How can a person know if they are doing what God wants them to do or not? Is it possible to have his direction? Gideon was like many of us. He wanted a clear sign from God. After Gideon got the sign, he would know God was directing him, and he would lead an army against the enemies if it were what God wanted him to do. Gideon asked God to do something supernatural that would prove it was He answering his prayer.

The Israelite leader put out a fleece of wool on the ground, and asked for a sign. If God wanted him to lead the battle, Gideon asked that God make the fleece wet from the dew and the ground dry. The next morning an unnatural thing had occurred. The fleece was soaked, but the nearby ground was dry. Still doubting that it may have just been a coincidence, as can happen when people request “signs” from God, Gideon requested more proof. He asked God once more to prove His intervention by doing the impossible. This time he requested that the fleece be dry and the ground wet. The next morning the miracle had been performed. He knew God’s direction, and he did successfully battle the enemy.

“Well, Gideon sought proof of direction, may I also?” many ask. I have asked similar proofs in my past and have gotten direction by His answer. God does hear the prayers and requests of His own. However, that was when I was a younger Christian. I soon learned that we are to live by faith, and not sight. Proof by sight does not necessarily make one a stronger or a more trusting Christian. Gideon did ask twice, because the first sign was not enough. God desires us to trust Him unconditionally without doubt or lack of trust. Trusting Him to supply without proof is the faith He desires. Also, when Gideon was seeking God’s will, he did not have the entire written Word of God as we do today to guide him.
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16

Sometimes God will honor our request for a miracle to discern His leadership. Much of the time, when He knows our faith should be more mature and trusting, He expects us to discern His will other ways. Some of the biblical principles of knowing God’s direction include:


God does not desire to play guessing games with those that desire to follow His leading. He will make it clear in His timing. Will you let God say “no” to your request if He so desires, and will you obey His direction if He shows you? If so, God will lead you in a plain path if you ask and wait for His clear leadership.

“There is but one question, and that is ‘What is the will of God?’  That settles all other questions.” — William E. Gladstone

This article was featured in The Bible View #396.

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