“Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore (why) hast thou smitten (struck) thine ass (donkey) these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee (stand against you), because thy way is perverse before me:”Numbers 22:31-32
I grew up believing I was hot stuff and that I knew it all. I thought I was pretty savvy, and I thought I had the street smarts to get by in life. My yearbook documented my personal confidence, and there were some who appreciated that side of me and there were others who despised my prideful demeanor. I sought to do things my way and not God’s way. I knew I had dedicated myself to God while I was at camp one summer, but I foolishly thought I had plenty of time to make right choices and live for God.
God has used many people and circumstances in my life to get my attention. There were times that I heard Him, but I chose to not listen. I remember being fired from a job and it was a wake-up call that I just ignored. I got back on my feet and promptly forgot what God was trying to teach me. I was miserable in my new job and really at an all-time low in my life. I was entangled in an addictive sin which I used to try and drown out my misery. I knew it was not right and I struggled with it, but there were many times I did not even struggle to fight it but instead took pleasure in it. I kept up with the appearances of a Christian as I read my Bible and went to church, but I was not serious about my sin, which meant I was not serious about my relationship with God. I held onto bitterness from being fired, and I was resentful about my situation. My bitterness spilled into all facets of my life, and my life was a complete wreck.
My sin was soon to find me out, and I came home to a note from my wife. She was being real with me about my sin, and she told me I was killing our family. I was often angry and there was no real joy to be found in my life. I knew all the answers, but I did nothing to apply them in my life. I allowed myself to become someone even I didn’t like, but God used this note to get my attention and cause me to evaluate my life. I would like to say change came instantly, but it definitely did not happen overnight. God used the curriculum of Freedom That Lasts which includes extensive scripture memorization and the biblical way of dealing with sin.
I realized that I had been playing around spiritually, and I knew it was time I got serious about my spiritual condition. I was not fooling anyone with how I was living my life, and I certainly was not fooling God. I was much like the prophet Balaam trying to get past God, but God, in His mercy, was blocking me and allowing me to be miserable in my sin. Several times He tried to get my attention, but I still tried to get past the barrier He had set for me. I am grateful for His mercy and grace in my life, and I am grateful for a God who gives millions of chances to His children. I realized there is no going past God if you are one of His, and He loves you too much to allow you to continue in your sin. My way was perverse before Him, and He blocked me from continuing on in my sinful journey.
Where are you headed today friend? Are you trying to head down a path that is perverse before God? Do you keep trying to get past His protection? The Apostle Paul found it hard to fight against God’s conviction, and God stopped Him dead in His tracks. What will it take in your life for God to get your attention? God will chasten His children because He loves us. May it not take words from a donkey to get our attention, and may we not have to suffer the ugly consequences of sin before we submit to our God. May today be the day we make things right with Him, and may we stop when He instructs us to do so, and go wherever He leads us.