“Now please, you also stay here tonight, and I will find out what else the Lord will speak to me.” Balaam replied to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the command of the Lord my God.” God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise up and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you shall you do.” So, Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab. – Numbers 22:18-21
Out of context, Balaam’s request for more information from God would appear to be the godly action of a righteous man. There is only one problem. God had already spoken and clearly told the false prophet what he was to do. Seeking another answer was just selfish disobedience disguised as delay.
There have been a few times in my life and ministry when I knew God’s instructions, but frankly didn’t like them. So, like a rebellious child, I looked for “loopholes” or ways around His commands that allowed me to pursue my own preferred path. On a few of these occasions, God even allowed me to have my way, only to learn through the pain of failure why His way was better. The result has been that I currently do my best to understand and submit to His commands, even when they aren’t comfortable.
God’s path is always best. We don’t have to agree with it or even like it, but we must always obey it and if we do, we will grow in our understanding of His purposes and appreciate them all the more.
Sometimes living a life that honors God means making sacrifices. – Kevin Harney