What’s the last argument you had with God?
Was it about something He had allowed to happen in your life that you wish He hadn’t? Did you discuss something you didn’t understand in the Bible? Or maybe He was asking you to do something or not do something, and you weren’t super into it.
The last argument or fight with God we’ve seen was when Jacob wrestled with God and won. I don’t know which showdown was more incredible, God physically wrestling with Jacob, or what He did in this chapter of the Bible.
This fight was between God and Balaam. Balaam was…what would you call Balaam? A soothsayer? A prophet? A wizard? Apparently he was famous for successfully cursing people, because the whole king of Moab asked him to do just that.
You see, the king of Moab was “scurred”. The Israelites were gaining on him and his territory and from what he’d heard of them, he had ample reason to be afraid. Some kings try diplomacy, others declare war – but this king decided to go the supernatural route, asking Balaam to curse the Israelites so that they wouldn’t be a threat anymore.
Now, whatever we might call Balaam, if he were around today, he would call himself a Christian. So when king Balak came knocking on his door (with lots of $$), he decided to pray about it.
Only God gave him an answer he didn’t like.
If at first you don’t succeed…
We want “yes”, but God says “no”. Or we want “no”, when God actually says “yes”. What are we supposed to do in these situations?
Take the case of a parent and a child. The kid wants their parent to say “yes, you can stay up way too late watching TV” or “yes, you can throw away those perfectly good vegetables” or “yes, you can blow everything off and go hang out with that kid who has no home training. Your huge project due tomorrow will just have to wait!” But when the parent inevitably says “no”, everyone knows that the child should obey, not just because their parent is the boss, but because their parent wants what’s best for them.
But like kid, like Balaam, like you and me. Kids disobey their parents. Balaam didn’t listen to God. And you and I do what we want anyway.
But the funny thing about us and Balaam is that we argue.
But we try to be slick about it.
Balaam didn’t outright say “no, God, I want to do this”; he just kept asking over and over and over – after receiving an answer!
In the same way, you and I might not literally call God a liar or tell Him that He doesn’t know what’s best for us, but we ask His permission to do something we know is wrong. Or we ask for His blessing when we know we’re sinning against Him.
We go around in circles. We tell ourselves that we’re doing our best at this religion thing. We lie to ourselves and blame God for being non-responsive.
And in reality all we’re doing is arguing. We’re refusing to trust God. We’re trying to please ourselves and play Christians at the same time. And we keep doing this, and keep doing this-
The only One trying
Until God brings a literal talking donkey into our faces.
Let’s talk about that for a second – this story is actually insane. Animals do not talk. They did not talk thousands of years ago. They will not talk in the future. This isn’t a thing.
But God did that to get Balaam’s attention. Think about that. God worked a completely unreal supernatural miracle to get the attention of a little annoying man who won’t stop arguing with Him.
Now think – what’s God willing to do to get my attention? What is He already doing to get my attention?
And is it possible that I’m ignoring what He’s doing just so I can argue with Him?
God’s message to us: “Stop hurting yourself.”
We’ve got time. Right? That’s what we tell ourselves. We have time to settle down and get serious with God. We have time to enjoy ourselves, to get this last little bit in before buckling down and acting right.
I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing scarier to me than the thought that while I’m butting heads with God, His “plan A” for me has already passed me by.
That’s what happened to Balaam. He was never supposed to go to see King Balak. God only relented and let Balaam go because he fought so darn hard that God had to teach him a lesson.
And all of a sudden, Balaam was on plan B for his life. Who knows, maybe it was plan C! Imagine what amazing, beautiful, and satisfying things God would have done in Balaam’s life if he had just stopped fighting and let him?
I imagine what my life was supposed to look like. Imagine what God’s ideal plan was for you.
There’s something deeply bitter and hopeless about these thoughts.
But stop…wait. Listen to that – that noise. Really listen. It’s your breathing. It’s your heart beating.
It’s a sign. It means God has more plans for you.
But we will only live them and experience their beauty if we stop arguing with Him. He’s our Creator. He made you and He made me. He knows what’s good for us.
So let’s stop the circles. Let’s stop the pain. Let’s stop the arguing. Let’s stop killing ourselves.
Let’s accept. Let’s surrender. And let’s see what plans God has for us.
What do you think? Are you arguing with God? Comment below or share.
2 thoughts on “The One Habit That’s Ruining Your Relationship (Numbers 22)”
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.