A Talking Donkey
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
by Os Hillman
The donkey said to Balaam, ''Am I not your own donkey, which you have
always ridden, to this day?'' ~ Numbers 22:30
Most workplace believers I know tend to be task-oriented, motivated visionaries. And they will do just about anything to make their projects successful. This great strength can, if not properly bridled by the Holy Spirit, be a great weakness in their ability to fulfill God's will in their life.
Sometimes we want something to succeed so much that we fail to listen to that little voice inside trying to warn us by directing us on a different path. Such was the case of Balaam. He started out as a man of God, but then took the path of a "prophet-for-hire." God was not pleased with Balaam's decision to respond to a pagan king's request that he curse Israel. As Balaam rode his donkey to keep his appointment with the king, God sent the angel of the Lord to stand in the way and oppose Balaam.
Although Balaam did not see the angel, his donkey did. Three times the donkey turned from the path and three times Balaam beat the animal in anger. Finally, the donkey turned around, and to Balaam's shock and amazement, began to speak to him, admonishing his master for beating him. Imagine a donkey talking to you! He warned Balaam of the angel of death who was standing in the road with a sword drawn, ready to kill Balaam if he continued.
There are times when pushing harder, trying to manipulate the circumstance, or pressing those around you is not the response to have to the roadblock. God may be trying to have you reconsider your ways. God may be doing one of four things when you are faced with an obstacle:
1) He's blocking it to protect you.
2) His timing to complete this stage is not the same as yours, and He may need you to go through a process of character refinement.
3) He may want other players to get in place, and the circumstances are not yet ready for them to enter.
4) He may be using the process to develop patience in you. Relying on the Holy Spirit
to know which one applies to your situation is the key to moving in God's timing.