If you’ve never heard the story of Balak and Balaam which God talks about in Revelation and in Numbers, and it is a pretty interesting one and in many ways, some of us believers are acting like Balaam, without even realizing it.
22 Then the sons of Israel journeyed, and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan opposite Jericho.
2 Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 So Moab was in great fear because of the people, for they were numerous; and Moab was in dread of the sons of Israel. 4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this [a]horde will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. 5 So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the [b]River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me. 6 Now, therefore, please come, curse this people for me since they are too [c]mighty for me; perhaps I may be able to [d]defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”
7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam and [e]repeated Balak’s words to him. 8 He said to them, “Spend the night here, and I will bring word back to you as the Lord may speak to me.” And the leaders of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9 Then God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” 10 Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent word to me, 11 ‘Behold, there is a people who came out of Egypt and they cover the surface of the land; now come, curse them for me; perhaps I may be able to fight against them and drive them out.’” 12 God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” 13 So Balaam arose in the morning and said to Balak’s leaders, “Go back to your land, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.” 14 The leaders of Moab arose and went to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”
15 Then Balak again sent leaders, more numerous and more distinguished than [f]the former. 16 They came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, ‘Let nothing, I beg you, hinder you from coming to me; 17 for I will indeed honor you richly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Please come then, curse this people for me.’” 18 Balaam replied to the servants of Balak, “ Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the [g]command of the Lord my God. 19 Now please, you also stay here tonight, and I will find out what else the Lord will speak to me.” 20 God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise up and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you shall you do.”
21 So Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab.22 But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary against him.
Notice how it says God first says to Balaam not to go, and then the implication says it is ok for him to go. Then God gets angry with him. Why is that? That is because He is testing him if he will do the right thing. But God knows that the heart of mankind is decietfully wicked so He knew He wasn’t going to do it.
Now I’ve had a sermon on this preached to me before in my Church and the sermon was called “Obedience Like A Donkey”. I’ve only had one other time that the Lord reminded me of this verse and I quickly repented, but I don’t know if I changed what I did.
Here’s my story, using a personal example. I was idolizing a television pastor, who was used to “ease my conscience” when I sinned, and I had the Lord tell me in an indirect way, several times, there was a conviction in the spirit, that maybe I shouldn’t be watching this preacher, and even though what they were teaching was Biblical, the theological doctrine was corrupted. I had my spiritual mentor in the Church, tell me not to watch this person, because they will only bring me down, and because I was trying to pursue Jesus, this person became an idol for me, and I did not want to give up watching their television show because it made me feel better. Instead of reading the Word of God for myself, which all teachers and preachers of the Word of God tell you to do, I decided to get spoon fed, and it was like a staircase model, where I was on the top of a staircase and this person who was at a lower level, and had less skill and training and personal experience, brought me down. There were other issues going on for a while, and when I needed to have my conscience clear and my faith strengthened, everything around me began to fall, and I had literally been brainwashed into thinking what all these television preachers were saying and getting confused with corrupt teachings, until I finally came to repentance and said “enough is enough” but by then it was too late, I had passed my three day limit of not reading the Word of God for myself, and my life began to spiral downward. There was still growth, and I know God has a plan and purpose for everything and He can make good out of bad. So I learned, “When God says ‘NO!!’ He means ‘NO!!”. During this time I was still writing on my blog and doing things, but I realized, that my spiritual life had to get back on track because of my conscience. At that point, I had difficulty receiving from the Holy Spirit.
This is the same thing I learned when I posted “Obedience is more important than Grace.” God has been teaching me how to hear His voice, and after many sleepless and tearful nights, I decided to change my priorities, but now I have to climb back up to where I used to be and maybe that’s the toughest part of sanctification process is that if you don’t accept it, you can be thrown out of the purging process and out of God’s revealed will for your life and it can be very destructive. But a new season is coming for all of us. God has not changed, what has worked in the past will work again, and there is nothing new under the sun. Let the reader understand. I hope you guys learn from the mistake of Balaam and be obedient to the Lord the first time, especially when you are debating in your mind, “I want to do this, but then I also don’t want to do this. I don’t know what to do.” As you become mature you will learn. A good question to ask, is how is this going to benefit anyone other than me? Does this appeal to my senses, or make me feel like I can get “away with it” if I do it. Idols are very destructive, and they can lead you to a downward spiral, and especially when people seem to let you think that disobedience is ok, when it is not ok, then you should be warned not to repeat it. Television preachers sometimes make themselves a target for idolization, even if it is not their intention, but is usually the case with the media industry. So message for today is “beware of idols” – and “beware of disobedience” there is also a sermon on my Church’s website called, “Idols in Your Backseat”. Although in this passage the first instruction that God has is usually the best, and if you put yourself in the middle God can answer you to your own desires even if it is not his will.