Friday, February 01, 2013

February 1, 2013 … Are You Kidding Me? A Talking Donkey!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 32

Passage of the Day: Numbers 22: 30 {in the context of Verses 28-31} [NLT] …  
28 Then the LORD caused the donkey to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me these three times?” it asked Balaam. 29 “Because you have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!” 30 “But I am the same donkey you always ride on,” the donkey answered. “Have I ever done anything like this before?” “No,” he admitted. 31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam fell face down on the ground before him. 

Contextual Study of today’s passage: Numbers, Chapter 22 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Proverbs 3: 5b – in the context of verses 5-6 : [NLT] … { Yes, again!! } … 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  6 Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths. 

My Journal for Today: Have you ever been in a place where you just knew you were on the right path; but things just didn’t come together and YOUR way of doing things was blocked? That was the incredible case which happened to Balaam in the Old Testament. You probably remember the almost unbelievable story in Numbers, Chapter 22 where Balaam, a misguided Prophet of God, traveling to see King Balak of Moab, needed a lesson in surrender; and God used Balaam’s donkey to wake the prophet to follow the path of life – GOD’S WAY – rather than the way of Balaam.

Sometimes, we can move ahead of God’s way of doing business in our own self-directed selfishness; and we run into a “brick wall,” wondering … “What gives, God?” And when things just don’t go our way and the results we expect are not forthcoming, perhaps it becomes time to realize that the “brick wall” of failure is God’s way of saying either, “NO!” or “WAIT!” Perhaps the failure is God’s talking donkey; and the Lord is really trying to help us to see GOD”S WAY of doing business rather than letting us do the project of living our own way.

How many times in my quiet times here with God do I end up being reminded of the truth of Proverbs 3: 5-6, a verse I’ve long had memorized?  But it comes to the forefront of my consciousness in my daily devotionals quite often, speaking to me … like my own talking donkey, telling me to get off my own high-horse and look and listen to do life God’s way. It’s so easy for me to become like Balaam, a man of God who’s become self-directed rather than Savior directed.

Jesus’ commands in Luke 9: 23 are so easy to “forget” at times, aren’t they? That part about “deny yourself” was the bugaboo for Balaam; and even when I know that I should be following my Lord first, at times I sell out to self and try to get ahead of God. Fortunately for this old forgetful warrior, God’s Spirit is always there, like the donkey for Balaam, to slow me down or to redirect my focus and to get me back on track … God’s track!

So, let me pray that we’ll all be sensitive to God’s donkeys, which yell out to us in the circumstances of life and help us to see God’s way of doing life rather than our own. Again, I stop to remember the comparison of two great songs, which remind me to seek to do life God’s way and not MY WAY. The first is Old Blue Eyes, singing MY WAY – see this link  – and the other is Michael W Smith singing “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” - linked for your meditation here.  

My Prayer for Today ... Lord, if I go life my way; please send anything – even a donkey – to show me to do life YOUR way. … Amen

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