“Show me a sign of your favor” (Psalm 86:17 ESV).
One of the ways to gain confidence is to ask God for a sign. Gideon did this. It was a key moment in His leadership journey.
“So Gideon said to God, ‘If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said— look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.’ And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, ‘Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.’ And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground” (Judges 6:36-40).
We can also God for a sign to confirm his promise to us. Hezekiah did this in a crucial moment of his life:
“And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘What is the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord the third day?’ Then Isaiah said, ‘This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?’” (2 Kings 20:8-9).
I remember a time in my first senior pastor assignment when I was very discouraged. The negative circumstances seemed greater than the promises I had. I told the Lord, “I cannot go on without a word or sign from you.” In response to this, I felt like God said, “Steve, I have not called you to fail but to succeed.” It was a good thought but not strong enough to overcome my discouragement, so I did not tell anyone about it.
Soon after I went to a gathering of regional pastors. I shared with them about my battle with discouragement, and they gathered around me to pray. The first one who prayed said, “Father, I thank you that you have not called Steve to fail but to succeed.” It was a sign for me! God was with me. I knew it was God speaking to me. It was one of the most important moments in my life. That phrase became a weapon in my mouth and my thinking. “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare” (1 Timothy 1:18).
Here are areas where we can ask God for a sign of His favor:
- Our loved ones – “God, please give me a sign Your hand is on the life of my loved one.”
- Direction and assignments – “Lord, please confirm this is what I am supposed to do.”
- Risky decisions – “Father, I need a big sign for this risky decision I am feeling led to make.”
Here are three positive qualities of those who ask for and believe they will see signs of God’s favor, direction, and promises:
- They will live in more child-likeness and wonder in their spiritual walk (Matthew 18:3).
- They will see where God is moving and where the supernatural is happening (John 4:35).
- They are people of hope who expect to see the goodness of the Lord in their lives. “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13).
There are some cautionary considerations when asking God for a sign. Here are two:
- Don’t allow a sign to cause you to make choices clearly contrary to Scripture.
- Use supernatural signs as a part of a healthy decision-making process described in this blog, “Six Traits of Dynamic Decision Makers.”
“Show me a sign of your favor” (Psalm 86:17 ESV). Let’s join the Psalmist in praying this right now. Some of us have not had a recent sign because we have not asked. “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). As we ask, we will be amazed at the signs we experience. They will build confidence in who we are and confidence the Lord is with us in key areas of life.
For more on this, please listen to my podcast here.
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.