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SCRIPTURE - NUM 22-23                                                                                                         AUGUST, 2014

And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him.
Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.
And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the
way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

Have you ever been in the position, or known someone that was trying to accomplish something, that always seemed to hit one roadblock after another, and was just dogmatic about getting it done, no matter what??

Well, in this lesson, we are going to look and see just what this type of mentality, could end up costing you, depending on just what it is you are trying to do.

In the course of every day life, we hopefully have made plans for our lives in the future, and are doing those things that we believe will aid us in reaching that goal. And, for the most part, if we adhere to certain principles, and are diligent in our proceeding to that goal, we will, with God's help, attain it.

However, as I just mentioned, it is with God's help!

Looking at it from this standpoint, we should know that if God is supporting you in what you are trying to do, then, the only reason you will fail, is if you, yourself stop trying to achieve it.

All things are possible to those that walk uprightly before God Mat 19:26b.

However, just because you are a child of God, does not mean that you have free rein to do whatever you feel like doing, even if what you are attempting to do, is something that God would most likely support.

The difference between the two is, what God wants you to be doing, versus what you want to do.

For the Christian, our first goal should be to please the Father. As we move toward that goal, God will do whatever it takes to get you to that point. As the bible says, He will not withhold any 'good thing' from those who walk uprightly before Him Psa 84:11b.

To be walking uprightly before the Lord, means that you are in total obedience to Him, which is another way of saying you are in Right standing, or Righteous, in His sight.

There are those that would say, that no one can be righteous in the sight of God, because the bible says, There are none that are righteous Rom 3:10. However, they are misinterpreting this scripture, and others that would leave that impression on someone that is not being led by God, through the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit, that we need to guide us in, and to the Truth.

Without the Holy Spirit, a person is in danger of harming himself or others, if they happen to be following his/her advice, or direction because he is a blind man walking. And as the bible says, when the blind lead the blind, both will fall in the ditch Mat 15:14.

The Truth of a person being righteous in God's sight, rests in one specific scripture, and that is, 1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If you will notice the underlined part of the scripture, you will see, the result of confessing our sins, is to be cleansed from ALL UNRIGHTEOUNESS!!! Well, if you have no unrighteousness, because you have been cleansed, then, that makes you righteous.

It is as simple as that!!

Now, getting back to the point of this lesson, walking uprightly, or righteously before the Lord, is the only way to have Him support you in whatever endeavor you are trying to achieve.

However, that endeavor, has to line up with what God has designed for you to accomplish. You must remember, we are here to accomplish His Will and Purpose for our lives, first. And, to that end, we have His unlimited support, and backing.

When we are endeavoring to do exactly that, then, we can rely on the Lord supplying us with what we need to accomplish our mission. When resistance comes, we are to forge ahead, and not give up, because, and here is another misinterpretation of scripture, He, the Lord, has already made the way for us to achieve it. All we have to do is walk in it.

Many Christians say that God will make a way, where there is no way. Really?? If God knows the beginning from the end. If His Word is forever settled in Heaven. If nothing happens without Him already knowing about it, then, that means, nothing can take Him by surprise, where He has to hurry up and do something, because He was caught off guard.

When we get off the path He has chosen for us, all we have to do, is get back on it by repenting, and turning back to it. It's the same thing every Christian had to do when they got saved. The path was already there, and all we had to do was follow it. And when something confronted us, to try stopping us, the Lord was right there to guide us through, and give us victory.

But, there are times when, as a child of God, we tend to get carried away with the idea that because we are His children, that we can get out here and show the ungodly how God blesses us soo much, that they would want to come to Him.

The intentions are good, but, the way we are going about it, is wrong, and therefore, we have stepped in to a situation where God, instead of backing us, is now opposing us.

Our subject scripture, is a small part of a story that is quite interesting. It deals with a situation where a man of God, attempted to do something that God had not directed him to do. The result was, he nearly lost his life had it not been for his jackass.

To capsulize the story, Balaam, a prophet of the Lord, is called upon by a man named Balak, who sent some messengers to him, to come and put a curse, on a people that he was fearful of. These people were the children of Israel, God's people.

Balaam didn't know it at the time, but when he sought the Lord, God informed him who they were.

As a result, he told them he would not do as they asked, because the Lord, forbade him.

When the messengers returned to Balak, and told him what Balaam said, he sent different messengers that were closer in authority to him than the previous ones were. They no doubt, were able to offer him money and other favors, if he would do as Balak had asked.

His response was, now get this, Num 22:18 .. If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.

Notice the underlined part. He was determined to do no more, or less than what the Lord said for him to do.

Well, after he sought the Lord, a second time about the matter, the Lord directed him to go with the men 'IF' they came to him again, and say what He, the Lord would tell him to say.

The problem is, Balaam rose up to go with the men, to Balak, on his own. The men had not come to him again. This was a clear violation of his profession in the scripture above, the underlined part.

At that point, his intention was to do what the Lord wanted him to do, but, not the way He wanted him to do it.

This is where we fall in to disfavor with the Lord, at times.

First, we don't seek the Lord about what we should do about situations in our lives. Then, if we do seek Him, and He tells us how to proceed specifically, we jump the gun, and get out of sync with Him, and He isn't having it.

In this case, Balaam, ended up moving out of God's design and purpose, and the Lord sent an Angel, to get him to turn around.

A lot of times, the resistance, or obstacles that a person may be facing in their pursuit of the 'good life', as God would want us to have, may very well be there, not because of the Devil trying to stop us, but rather, God is trying to get us to turn around, or wait because the timing is not right, or there is some other issue that needs to be addressed.

In Balaam's case, his mind was so determined on doing what God told him to do, that when the ass that he was riding on, saw the Angel in the middle of the path, with a flaming sword, turned to avoid him, Balaam beat the ass.

He then, turned the ass to follow another path, and the same thing happened with the Angel and the ass.

After a third time, Balaam threatened to kill the ass for not doing what he wanted the ass to do. That is when the Lord caused the ass to speak to Balaam.

If you will notice, Balaam, was not shocked when the ass spoke to him. In fact he held a conversation with him.

In verse 31, we find that the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, to see the Angel with the sword standing in the path.

The Angel told Balaam, in verse 33, that if he had proceeded on the path, He, the Angel would have killed Balaam, but spared the ass.

At his point Balaam repented.

Now, what do you see here??

Do you see a little bit of yourself, a family member, a friend, or some acquaintance?? Chances are, if you are like me, you see all of them.

How many times have we, faced a situation where, when something interfered with us achieving something, that we felt the Lord had promised us, or told us to do, we started rebuking the Devil, or, in the case of an individual, or group of individuals, started calling them the devil's servants??

It could very well be, that just like Balaam, we got blinded to the promise or goal, and went off course, and God sent them, to get us back on course. But we would have none of it. So, what we proceeded to do, was in effect, battle with God. And friend, that is one battle you don't want to be in!!

When I look at the black community, the gay community, the religious communities [denominational, and others], and a lot of Christians, I see them in a constant struggle to achieve the American dream, something that was instilled in them, by God, but trying to do it, their way, rather than the way God says for them to do it.

As a result, things keep getting worse and worse for them, and rather than listen to those that God has sent to them to tell them to change their ways, they fully intend to keep going, some times by hook or crook, and if someone is in their way, to run over them.

Enter the Angel with the sword!!

Any time you, me, or anyone else thinks we can accomplish any thing, when God says 'not this way' or 'not now' or 'no', then, quite frankly, that is a fool's death wish!!

Another story to read, is that of Jonah, in the old testament book by the same name.

In this case, the Lord told Jonah to do something, essentially to warn Nineveh to turn from their evil ways, or God would destroy them.

Jonah, chose to run away, rather than do what the Lord told him to do.

The result?? He ended up spending 3 days and nights in the belly of a 'great fish!!'

Now, I don't know about you, but, after seeing what happens when you try to run from doing what God says for you to do, you still end up in trouble.

Now you know why, I would rather face the wrath, and persecution of man, when I try to warn mankind of his evil ways, rather than being 'politically correct!'

Belly of a fish?? Not me!! So, deal with it!!