Sunday, January 24, 2016

Is He Opposed

Is He Opposed
January 25, 2016
Numbers 22:22  "But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him."

The Lord allows us a free will but that doesn't mean it is always wise to  exercise it.  Sometimes our will and the Lord's will do not parallel and when push comes to shove, the Lord's will should always prevail.  He knows better than we do and He is kind enough to warn us when our will is opposite His.  However, if you choose not to listen to the Lord, then He WILL oppose you.  Consider the story of Balaam and his donkey.

Balaam was a spiritual man but not quite the most Godly of men.  He was asked to put a curse on the nation of Israel so they could not advance in size or place.  The Lord appeared to Balaam and told Balaam not to carry through with the curse.  I'll pause right here and suggest the Lord was a gentleman about it.  The Lord appeared to Balaam, was aware of the plan, and clearly told him not to do it, without consequence.  The Lord's position on the subject was not ambiguous; it was crystal clear.  At first Balaam submitted to the Lord's position on the subject but was fully enticed to do it anyway.  Balaam set out to continue in the plan and the Lord set out to oppose him.  But again, the Lord was a gentleman about it.  The Lord sent an angel of death to strike Balaam down should he actually continue with the plan after a certain point.  Though Balaam could not see the angel, the Lord allowed Balaam's donkey to be fully aware of the impending execution.  The donkey tried to keep Balaam from advancing, but Balaam insisted.  Several times the donkey tried not to continue down the path, but Balaam was determined.  Finally the donkey spoke against Balaam and asked him why he was determined to head down this path, the path that would only lead to destruction.  Thankfully the Lord used the donkey to speak some sense into him.

I often wonder how many times I have been determined to do my own will against the wishes of the Father?  You've undoubtedly done the same a time or two.  When the path was full of resistance, did you push through, making a mistake, or did you use it as an opportunity to evaluate if it was truly a good idea or not.  If the Lord can't get you to listen to His word, then He will oppose you along the path.  If you continue on that path, the Lord does promise it will lead to destruction.  He doesn't want you headed toward destruction but rather puts up road blocks as continual warning signs.  I'm curious as to why Balaam continued with the plan despite clear advice from the Lord.  But this speaks to the human nature, as we are going to do what we want to do, regardless of how clear the Lord feels about it.  This only leaves opportunity for opposition from the Lord.

Balaam didn't see the donkey's behavior as a warning sign; he was too focused on his own plan, to accomplish his own agenda.  I have to say that I probably would have remembered the words of the Lord when the path became blocked.  It would have forced me to realize maybe the plan wasn't truly a good idea.  But then again, maybe I would have done the same thing Balaam did and push through regardless.  What do you do when there is opposition to your goal?  Do you push through, finding an alternate route, or do you evaluate if the plan is recommended by the Lord?  You may not be deliberately headed down the wrong paths, as those roads might not necessarily be sinful, but they still might not be recommended by the Lord.  While I am a firm believer in never giving up, it is important to evaluate the goal and determine if it is the Lord's goal.  What opposition are you facing right now in your plans?  Are you sure those plans parallel with the Lord's?

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Numbers 22, Prov 29:23, James 4:6

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