In all my life and in my journey as a Christian, I don’t think I have ever considered what the consequences of disobedience are. In the back of my mind I knew there were some lasting consequences, such as your name not being in the book of life, but it never occurred to me until I experienced some immediate consequences…
I haven’t posted for a while now, and it was simply because of my disobedience, I felt quite blocked and couldn’t do anything, but perhaps more disturbing was feeling an emptiness and pull away from God’s presence…
The bible has a lot of examples of people who disobeyed God and what happened to them, Jonah disobeyed God and ended up in the belly of a fish, Saul disobeyed God and the anointing was taken away from him. The one I love, whilst not a clear act of disobedience nor a descendant of Israel, is the story of Balaam.
Found in Numbers 22, Baalam, who is known by his works “for I Know that he whom you bless is blessed and he whom you curse is cursed.” was being summoned by the Moabite King Balak, who wanted to put a curse on the Israelite. After some “negotiations” between God and Balaam, God told Balaam
If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them;
We are then told Balaam, rose up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. The angel of the lord appeared in front of his donkey, blocking it from its path and turning it into a different direction. This happened three times and each time Balaam, blinded beat the donkey.
The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.” NIV
Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? Behold I went out to withstand thee, because they way is perverse before me…
I think we fall into this trap of only believing that disobedience is blatant disobedience, obvious and clear. Whilst that is part of it, I have come to realize that sometimes disobedience could be as simple as distrust in God, even negotiating with God or bending the rules.
When I first read about Balaam, read it, Numbers 22, my carnal mind couldn’t understand what Balaam did, why in the new testament he was spoken about as one who is unrighteous and who did not follow God’s command. As I studied it more, thinking about obedience I realized he was smart about his disobedience.
Balaam, negotiated with God, he entertained things he knew was against God will. God told Balaam, you cannot curse those I have blessed, yet Balaam still gave the princes of Moab the time, still negotiated with them and heard them out. Ephesians 5:11 says; “and have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness but rather reprove them”
God told Balaam to go with the Moabites if they come to call him. I found it interesting that in the newer translation, the “If” has been removed but I think its very important. But then again I’m not a theologian. But to me, “if they come and call you you can go” & “you can go,” have two separate meaning. I’m interested to hear what others think so please let me know.
We later find out, Numbers 31, that Balaam went on to entice the Moabites women to seduce the Israelites and lead them into sexual immorality. So there we have it, he played a double agent.
..So I’m guessing by now you wondering what this has to do with me, well…
God put it in my heart to do something, I have been very careful to follow God’s instructions on how to do it. About two weeks ago, he again put it in my heart to take a particular step, it involves a message to some people. I, being someone who still questions “who am I to be saying and doing things” found all the excuses I could not to do it, I postponed it, I had excuses that I’m not good enough and even tempted to just do something similar bit different.
The more I didn’t do it, the more I felt this change in my spirit. I couldn’t pin point what it was but, an emptiness was creeping in and I just didn’t feel the presence of God around me. It was becoming harder and harder for me to pray and just concentrate on the lord. And the more this was happening the more I didn’t do what God had asked of me.
One morning I got into my closet and prayed desperately asking, why has your presence left me. God just reminded me, there’s that one little thing. It took putting my fear aside and trusting God to do it, and ever since then, everything feels normal again.
When I was studying the bible for this post and just listening to where God took it, I came across something, it said,
The supposedly “spiritual” person is often blind to what the simple see plainly. Balaam, a professing religious person, could not see God at work, not even when He was personally opposing him! Yet, the dumb donkey, a lowly beast of burden, saw God at work and deferred to Him, and by its submission, the donkey made it possible for “blind” Balaam to see.
This experience has definitely opened my eyes to checking, what could be blocking me? Could it be I’m disobeying God in some area of my life, or is God trying to tell me something, even if I don’t believe I’m not being disobedient.