Should We Ask God for Signs to Direct Our Life?

Is it ever okay to ask God for a sign when discerning a serious decision that pertains to God’s will for our life? Cale tackled this question on a recent episode of The Cale Clarke Show and showed why it might not always be the best idea, even though there are scriptural precedents.

In Chapter 6 of the Book of Judges, we hear the story of Gideon, the warrior who saved the Israelites. But before he was called to lead them against the Midianites, he was simply working at the home of his father Joash. An angel approached Gideon and told him of God’s will that he lead the Israelites. And he presented a sign by creating a fire that engulfed some meat and unleavened bread.

After the angel left, God spoke to Gideon and instructed him on how he would lead the Israelites out of subjugation. But even before Gideon obeyed Him, he asked God for two more signs! He asked that on subsequent nights, a fleece be covered with dew one morning, and dry of dew the next. In this way, Gideon would know that the Lord would save Israel through Him.

Was this right of Gideon to do? Is he in any position to ask the Lord to prove Himself? Are we allowed to do as Gideon did, when deciding what the Lord is asking of us in our own life? Is it a sign of piety to be sure that we are following God’s will? Or is it a sign of distrust and pride?

Cale explained that it might not be a cut-and-dry answer because it depends on what stage of the spiritual life that person is in. When Gideon asked Jesus for signs, it was clear that the Israelites’ time under the Midianites had dulled their zeal for the Lord. Gideon was struggling with the calling of God until his fervor was reignited, and it was as if the Lord was having mercy on a servant who had been struck numb. Gideon was asking for a sign so that he may be sure he was doing the will of God.

In the New Testament, we see others ask Our Lord for signs: the Pharisees and the Sadducees. These were the members of Rabbinic Judaism whose authority on religion went virtually unquestioned. They were the ones who were supposed to set the example. So when it says in Matthew, “The Pharisees and Sadducees came and, to test him, asked him to show them a sign from heaven,” (Matthew 16:1) that sends a very different message than Gideon’s request. They are testing God.

Cale said that in his personal experience, God is much more willing to show you outward signs if you need them. Gideon, a man who struggled with doubt and trust, needed a sign because he was weak. The Pharisees and Sadducees asked Jesus for a sign, not out of love, but out of jealousy and hatred. They wanted to trip Him up to prove that He was a liar.

“I always say to new converts, if they’ve just come into the Church or they’re Catechumens and they’re super excited about the Lord, that they should ask for audacious things in prayer, for the glory of God, of course. Go for it,” said Cale. He said he has found that God tends to grant the requests of those who haven’t fully matured in their spiritual life. God wants to bring those new souls into the fold and because of their desire to serve Him, He wants to help them cultivate that desire. This granting of a request from Our Lord is not being used as a verification of His might, but rather as an affirmation that one is on the right track, just like Gideon.

In our own spiritual lives, take advantage of prayer: petition God for the things that you want. If you desire to follow Him and serve His will, ask Him to show you the way. Make efforts to act upon that desire, and He will show you the way. But we cannot confuse this practice of petitions with a desire to test God, asking Him to prove His existence, His power, or His influence.

“Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’” (Matthew 4:7)

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John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at and on the Relevant Radio® app.