It is a commonly held belief among Christians that one of the most perplexing problems we experience is knowing what the will of God is for our lives. The reason for this is not hard to find. For one thing, we are most sensitive to this question in times of stress, when the stakes are high and our emotions are perturbed. We want a clear path to appear in front of us—we want to know what our heavenly Father would have us do. In these situations we turn to God and pray for guidance. But frequently we discover that the help does not come to us when and how we think it should, and we begin to wonder if there is some secret key to the will of God which we need to discover.
Everyone is familiar with what Gideon did when he wanted absolute assurance that he was not deluded, but that the Lord truly had told him to take on the Midianites—he laid a fleece out, not once but twice (Judg. 6:36-40).