“Asking for Signs” – YouTube

Asking for Signs

Judges 6:36-40



  1. If Only We Would Believe God!
    1. What is your real aim in life?
      1. I know that you desire to be fruitful in serving Jesus Christ.
      2. To do that you do not have to seek position, or prominence, or power.
      3. But you do have to long to be a fruitful servant of the Lord.
    2. If you do want to bear much fruit for the Lord, then you must pray a lot!
      1. God can do more through our prayers than through our preaching or teaching.
      2. J. Gordon once said,
        • You can do more than pray, after you have prayed; but you can never do more than pray, until you have prayed.
        • If only we would believe this!


  1. God Is No Respecter of Persons
    1. “Ask of Me”
      1. I learned a long time ago that God wants me to pray and to pray a lot, because all success in spiritual work depends on prayer.
        1. A preacher who does not pray a lot may see some results of his work, but if he does it is because someone, somewhere is praying for him.
        2. But the “fruit” is the pray-er’s, not the preacher’s.
      2. A lot of preachers are going to be surprised some day when the Lord “rewards every man according to his works.”
        1. They may think those are their converts!
        2. I did the preaching, the pleading, the persuading; but was it “I” who did the praying?
        3. Every person who is saved is the result of the Holy Spirit’s pleading in answer to the prayers of some believer.
        4. O Lord, teach us to pray!
      3. Think of how far prayers reach in this world!
        1. My life verse is Psalm 2:8
          • “Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession”.
        2. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have prayed this prayer.
        3. I was in China a few years ago and a young man gave me this card and said “God showed me I should draw this for you.”
        4. The writing was in Chinese, but I saw the numbers 2:8 on it and asked immediately if this was Psalm 2:8 and he said, “Yes!”
        5. I began to weep because it is my calling and prayer in my life and God was confirming it in my life.
      4. So many people do not bother to take even the little details of their own lives to God in prayer, but God wants us to let Him guide us on the path of our lives that He wants us to be on and He will confirm that in your life over and over if you will just ask Him to do so.
        1. It is truly staggering that so many Christians are unwilling to pray.
        2. Maybe it is because they have never experienced, or even heard of, convincing answers to prayer.


  1. Two Missionaries in India
    1. There was a lady in India who was discouraged by her failure in the work of her life as a missionary.
      1. She was a devoted missionary, but somehow conversions never resulted from her ministry.
      2. The Holy Spirit began to say to her, “Pray more.”
      3. But she resisted the promptings of the Spirit for a long time.
    2. Finally, she said, “I set apart much of my time for prayer. I did it in fear and trembling lest my fellow-workers should complain that I was shirking my work. After a few weeks I began to see men and women accepting Christ as their Savior. Moreover, the whole district was soon awakened, and the work of all the other missionaries was blessed as never before. God did more in six months than I had succeeded in doing in six years.
    3. Another lady missionary in India felt the same call to pray.
      1. She began to give a lot of time to prayer.
      2. No opposition came from outside her life, but it did come from inside her life!
      3. But she persisted, and in two years the baptized converts increased sixfold!


  1. God’s Promise – Joel 2:28
    1. God promised that he would “pour out the Spirit of grace and supplication upon all flesh” in the end times (Joel 2:28).
      1. How much of that Spirit of “supplication” has God poured into your life?
      2. Surely God has done this in our lives.
      3. Yet if we are not willing to spend time in “supplication,” then God will withhold His Spirit.
      4. That makes us those who are “resisting the Spirit,” and possibly “quenching” the Spirit.
      5. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to them that ask?
      6. Luke 11:13 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
    2. Years ago in India, Pandita Ramabai had a boarding-school of 1,500 Hindu girls.
      1. One day some of these girls came with their Bibles and asked a missionary what Luke 12:49 meant—“I came to cast fire upon the earth; and what will I, if it is already kindled?”
      2. The missionary tried to put them off with an vague answer because she was not very sure what those words meant.
      3. But they were not satisfied, so these girls began to pray for this fire.
      4. And as they prayed, and because they prayed, the very fire of heaven came into their souls.
      5. And they continued to pray!
    3. A group of these girls went to a mission house some distance from where they lived.
      1. “May we stay here in your town and pray for your work?” they asked.
      2. The missionary wasn’t too excited about this because he felt like they should be in school.
      3. But all they asked for was a room where they could pray; and we all want people praying for us, so he granted their request.
    4. The missionary sat down for his evening meal and a native pastor came in.
      1. He broke down completely, explaining with tears running down his face, that the Holy Spirit had convicted him of sin, and that he had come and openly confess his sin.
      2. He was quickly followed by one Christian after another, all under deep conviction of sin.
      3. There was an incredible time of blessing.
      4. Back-sliders were restored, believers were sanctified, and lost people were saved, all because a few mere children were praying.


  1. God Is Willing!
    1. God is no respecter of persons.
      1. If anyone is willing to conform to God’s conditions, then God is more thatn willing fulfill His promises.
      2. Don’t you long to see and hear of God’s wonderful power at work?
      3. That power is yours for the asking.
      4. Yes, there are “conditions, ” but you and I can fulfill them all through Christ.
    2. It is awesome to know that by our prayers we can bring down showers of blessing upon India, or Africa, or China, but God will pour out His blessings here, too, if we will ask Him.
      1. We know that God is no respecter of persons, so any true believer in Him may share God’s mind and will.
      2. We are His friends if we do the things he commands us.
      3. One of the most important of those things is “prayer.”
    3. Jesus in Mark 11 begged His disciples to literally “have the faith of God” (the literal translation is “Have the faith of God”).
      1. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.


  1. Asking for Signs


  1. Does God Answer Prayer?
    1. “Does God indeed answer prayer?” is a question often on the lips of people, and oftener still in their inmost hearts.
      1. “Does prayer really work?”
      2. Yet somehow people cannot help praying.
      3. Even lost people cry out to someone or something to help them in times of danger and disaster and distress.
    2. Those of us who really do believe in prayer are soon faced with another question: “Is it right to put God to the test?”
      1. Failure in the prayer-life is often (always?) due to failure in the spiritual life.
      2. So many people have so much unbelief about the effectiveness of prayer; and without faith, prayer is not effective!
    3. Asking for signs?
      1. Putting God to the test?
      2. I really want to encourage you to ask God for a sign, because He wants to show you how much He wants to answer your prayers!
      3. Putting God to the test is actually putting your own faith and holiness in your life to test!
    4. Prayer is the touchstone of true godliness.
      1. God asks for your prayers
      2. God values your prayers.
      3. God needs your prayers.


  1. The Story of Gideon
    1. The Bible teaches us that we are allowed to put God to the test.
      1. The best example in Old Testament to show us that God honors our faith even when that faith is faltering is Gideon.
      2. God allows us to “prove Him” even after a definite promise from himself.
      3. This is a very great comfort to us.
    2. Judges 6:36-40

36 Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said,

37 behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.”

38 And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.”

40 And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.


  1. Even though there was a “bowl full of water” in the fleece the next morning, this did not satisfy Gideon!
    1. He dares to put God to the test the second time, and to ask that the fleece should be dry instead of wet the following night.
    2. “And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew” (Judges 6:40).
    3. This is so very wonderful, the Almighty God just doing what a hesitating man asks Him to do!
    4. We stand amazed, not sure what surprises us the most, how bold Gideon is in asking or how quickly and simply God answers!
  2. Of course, there is more in the story than meets the eye.
    1. The “fleece” in one sense represents Gideon himself.
    2. If God would fill him with His Spirit, then his salvation was assured.
    3. But as he wrung the water out of the fleece out, it is like he the Spirit is going out of him.
    4. God promises us deliverance, but we do not feel full of the Spirit of God.
  3. You see, it is “Not I, but God.”
    1. If the fleece is dry, can God still work?
    2. Even if I do not feel any superhuman power of spiritual blessing within me, even if I feel as dry as this fleece, God can still work!
    3. It is not surprising that Gideon started his prayer with the words, ““Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more”!
    4. And God did that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground (verse 40)


  1. South Africa
    1. Prayer room – prayed all night.
      1. Evangelist mentioned South Africa
      2. John MacArthur tape – “God opens doors all the time. The problem is that many Christians will not walk through them”.
      3. God, if that door is open then I want to walk through it.
    2. Called evangelist, directed to Jimmy Ervin at Pro Missions in Memphis, Tennessee
      1. “We have 15 pastors going, but we have never had a layman go before. But if God has put it on your heart, then you need to go.”
      2. Then I am going to South Africa and I suddenly think, “What have I done?!”
      3. I asked God for a sign to show me that He is the one who is doing this and not me.
      4. Sunday School class, asked them to pray with me about this trip.
      5. One of the men stood back as the others left and then came up to me and said, “Dan, I think God wants me to pay all of your expenses for this trip.”
      6. Thank you, God! That is a wonderful sign.
      7. And look at all that God has done from that trip!


  1. There is always more to the story than we see at first!
    1. Yes, there is more in the story than can be seen at a glance.
      1. And is it not so in your own walk with the Lord and His answers to your prayers?
      2. God does exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think!
    2. The Devil often assures us that our prayers cannot claim an answer because of the “dryness” of our souls.
      1. But God’s answers to your prayer does not depend on your feelings!
      2. His answers depend on who He is and on His trustworthiness – He is the One who Promises.
    3. Gideon’s way is not the normal course of action.
      1. But when God wants you to do something big and you are not sure that the path before you is His path, then ask Him to show you that it is His Word.
      2. The better and safer way is to “ask, nothing doubting.”
      3. But it is very comforting and assuring to us to know that God allowed Gideon to put him to the test.
    4. Gideon is not the only such case mentioned in Scripture.
      1. One of the most surprising examples of “proving God” happened on the Sea of Galilee.
      2. Peter put our Lord to the test when He saw Jesus walking on the water and said, “Lord, if it is you, the bid me come to you.”
      3. Jesus had already said, “It is I.”
      4. And our Lord said, “Come,” and Peter “walked on the water!” (Matthew 14:28–29).
      5. But in this “testing-faith” of Peter’s soon failed him.
      6. “Little faith” (verse 31) so often and so quickly becomes “doubt.”
      7. Remember that Jesus did not reprove Peter for coming.
      8. Jesus did not say, “Why did you come?” but “Why did you doubt?”
    5. God does say, “Prove me: test me.”
      1. But we are the ones who are really being tested!
      2. Are we fully yielded to God?
      3. If we are then we do not need to put God to any test!
    6. God does all he can to induce us to pray and to trust, and yet we are so slow to ask Him big things!
      1. Oh, what we miss through lack of faith and want of prayer!

Oh, what peace we often forfeit!

Oh, what needless pain we bear!

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer;

  1. No one can have very real and deep communion with God who does not know how to pray so as to get answers to prayer.
  1. Why is it we find it so hard to trust him?
    1. Has he ever failed us?
    2. Has he not said over and over and over again that he will grant all petitions offered out of a pure heart, “in his name”?
    3. “Ask of me”; “Pray”; “Prove me”; “Try me.”
    4. The Bible is full of answers to prayer—wonderful answers, miraculous answers.
    5. And so are our lives when we ask Him!