Donkey Pause


Are you feeling a pause in an area where God has given you a green light?  Do you feel like you are getting ahead of God’s leading?  Ask the Spirit to reveal these things to you and listen to God’s voice. Maybe there is more God has to say before you fulfill his calling…

2 Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, 3 and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites.

4 So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, 5 sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River, in his native land.

7 The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.

12 But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.”

15 Then Balak sent other officials, more numerous and more distinguished than the first. 16 They came to Balaam and said:

“This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me, 17 because I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse on these people for me.”

20 That night God came to Balaam and said, “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.”
Numbers 22:2-5, 7, 12, 15-17, 20

When Balak’s people came to Balaam, God’s direction was for Balaam to refuse to go and help Balak, and to not curse the Lord’s blessed people.  Balaam obeyed God, yet another delegation came afterward and this time, God allowed Balaam to go.  His proviso, however, was to only do what God told him to do.

That’s the hard part, isn’t it?  When we believe God is telling us to go somewhere or letting us go, how do we limit ourselves to the actions God wants us to take? Layer on top of that our desire to plan and implement our creative ideas and we are looking for trouble.  Once we get a green light, we take it over and leave God in the dust sometimes, don’t we?

God knows that.  That very thing inside of us that propels us forward came from God.  He put it in us.  Our self-control muscles are less developed than our carpe diem muscles, though, aren’t they?  We want to seize the day for God, don’t we?

Many times, although God wants us to make a move, he also wants us to carefully listen to his voice and continue to obey his leading.  The green light isn’t carte blanche.  Balaam was in this situation, and God used his donkey to get through to him.  As you read this next part, I wonder if you have had this experience of thinking you are obeying God, and then encountering challenges which make you question if you are doing the right thing…

21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.

24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.

26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times? Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

“No,” he said.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.”

35 The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials.
Numbers 22: 21-28, 31-32, 35

Notice that the message to Balaam was identical to God’s word to him the night before he saddled up his donkey.  The exact same message.  Go with them, but speak only what I tell you.  Do as I say…

What’s the difference?  The difference is that Balaam heard the message differently, didn’t he?  You can bet that Balaam really really understood the didn’t have a carte blanche to go and provide his prophetic services.  God was going to be very very specific with this situation and Balaam would need to follow God’s leading closely.  And so, Balaam was now ready to serve God according to God’s plan.

Are you feeling a pause in an area where God has given you a green light?  Do you feel like you are getting ahead of God’s leading?  Ask the Spirit to reveal these things to you and listen to God’s voice. Maybe there is more God has to say before you fulfill his calling.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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