FAVOR IN THE FLEECE?By: Darrelyn L. Tutt"And Gideon said unto God, 'If Thou wilt save Israel by mine hand as Thou hast said, Behold I will put a fleece of wool on the floor, and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it shall be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that Thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as Thou hast said.' And it was so; for he rose up early on the morrow and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, 'Let not Thine anger be hot against me and I will speak but this once, Let me prove, I pray Thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.' And God did so that night; for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground."Judges 6:36-39-------God doesn't work with any two individuals in the same way;Continually and repeatedly throughout the Scriptures He selects and places "favor" on questionable and curious characters. He sandwiches His unconditional love, grace, and mercy around Tuna melts, Reubans, and Philly's, and He utilizes raw original characters for His purposes.There's a lot of things to adore and admire about God but this, my mind thinks, has to be one of the best.People that God uses, chooses, and favors are lovingly handpicked by a sovereign God composed of absolute wisdom and knowledge.God is never surprised by man;Man is only surprised by God.------Gideon appears a man of prevailing doubts from the get-go, looking for "signs" from the get-go. His initial "calling" by God through an angel who qualifies him as "A mighty man of valor" (vs.12) is followed by an immediate desire for a sign to follow:"And he said unto him, 'If now I have found grace in Thy sight, then show me a sign that Thou talkest with me."Judges 6:17-------Hmmm ... Doesn't James say that a man who doubts is like a wave of the sea tossed about, who shall receive nothing? (James 1)Ought we not to be in an uproar and declare Gideon an ungodly renegade which should be cast aside so God can use a more discerning and believing deliverer and judge to preside over His people Israel? Shouldn't something be done, not about the man but about the God who elected and selected a man like Gideon?Why does God choose and "favor" such characters?-----And what about putting out a "fleece" before God?Since Gideon made a career out of it, doesn't that mean that our vocations can be settled in the same unordinary way?What exactly are we to gather and glean from this passage about favor and fleeces?------Three things that settle us wondrously:1) Fleeces are pieces of our mortality and humanness.Unpleasant as they are, we are each composed with them.God's word is final and absolute and still, like Gideon, we question whether God is really going to do what He says according to His word. We look to fleeces when, in actuality, no matter how much dew they drip with, we desire one more "piece of evidence" to garner our peace and move on our way.Fleeces cannot provide us with peace.Only God's loving "favor" can do that."Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid."John 14:27------2) God's favorable fingerprints are grace-filled, mercy-filled, and uniquely personal.The same fingerprints He places on one man can't be transferred to another man.He's holy original. God remains adamantly, ardently, and sovereignly in charge of the blueprints and "holy prints" He places on each individual. He works differently and uniquely in all of us with the holy intention of conforming us to His Son. His final and total goal for each life is for His Son's glory; He will achieve this in His way, in His time, and through His Spirit.God is beautifully and majestically unfair;He selects the Samsons', Gideons', Solomons', and Davids'.He doesn't care about what anyone thinks of His selection process and He's not needy of any man's approval on the subject.The fingerprints of God's favor rests on "whosoever" He wills.End of story.Be mystified ... and curiously "wonderfied" by this reality, especially if you deem yourself one of the questionables, though I think that's what we all are apart from God. Enjoy with confidence, the reality that no man can rob the favor of God from you;it is permanently and creatively etched into you for an eternity."My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand."John 10:29-----3) A "bowl full" of water is not equal to a "soul full" of Christ. Keep yourself saturated in the word and you'll find your need for "signs" dissipate and disintegrate within you.If God's favor rests upon you, you have all you need and more than a fleece-full.Christ affords a communion with the soul and a cleansing in the soul that is second to none. His Spirit will carry you, convey you, and create in you a reservoir filled with His goodness, grace, and presence that all the collective bowls in the world cannot contain.There is no fleece sufficient to hold and manifest true peace in this world.Take heart and fill your heart ...With something more."These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In this world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."John 16:33------May God's favor rest "fleecefully and peacefully" on you.
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