2 Peter 2:15-16
Thank you once again for your patience as my computer issues have not been resolved...I am working on it! I love how God can use the Bible to speak to us! When I last posted about Balaam, I mentioned that I was a little confused on some details but felt I understood better. Yesterday morning as I got up to pray I found myself reading through Proverbs 16. I especially want to look at Proverbs 16:1-3; please look it up. Monday, I looked just a little at how Balaam really wanted to follow his own plans and went to God to see if he could. The second time Balaam asked, God gave him permission to go but reminded him that he would say only what God wanted him to say. Please read what Peter had to say about Balaam in 2 Peter 2:15-16.
Peter refers to the false teachers as those who have wandered off the "right road" following in Balaam's footsteps, which implies that Balaam had wandered off the right road. Please look at Proverbs 16:1-3 again and see what God says in verse one about our plans verses the answer God gives us. Balaam is a perfect example of someone who already knew what he wanted to do, but wanted to appear to do the right thing by asking God. Initially, it looks as though he was willing to follow God because he sent the people away. However, when they returned a second time he didn't send them away reminding them that God already said "no." He asked them to stay so he could go ask God again.
Proverbs 16:2 says, "People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives." Balaam may have even felt good about going back to God and asking again when the offer became more enticing to him; however, God understood that he really wanted to go with these men and earn money. This makes me ask the question: When I go to God, am I willing to listen and obey what He tells me, or am I looking for permission to go and follow my own wishes? There is a difference that may seem small at first, but when we dig deeper into our hearts and examine our motives we could see something that displeases our Beautiful Creator.
Are we going to God to see what He wants for us, or are we just seeking confirmation to go ahead with our own plans? Proverbs 16:3 brings us an awesome encouragement, "Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed." When we commit that everything we do will be what God wants us to do, the plans we make with God will be successful. When we give over our desire for independence to make our own plans to God and trust that He will lead us the way we should go, we will find the strength and power through Christ to complete the task set before us (Philippians 4:13). God's definition of success is not the world's definition of success (money, power). Success in God's kingdom is completing the plan He has for us.
We are to be discerning when we are following the direction of others and matching up what they say with what the Bible says. When you are struggling to know the difference, pray for understanding. We do not want to follow someone who has their own motives, we want to follow God.
Are you going to God with your own motives for success, or are you going for direction?