Inner Enemy


Today’s Devotion: Numbers 25

Balaam couldn’t curse Israel, but he could tell Balak what to do. So Balaam led Balak to infiltrate Israel, integrate with them, intermarry with them, and introduce idolatry to them to turn them away from God. I conclude that God gaves Balaam an answer that he didn’t like so he uses manipulation and his own influence to get what he wants anyway.

It backfires (of course), but in the meantime there is a lesson here for us. We can’t let other people do our dirty work for us. Indirect disobedience is disobedience period. What I read here is if God says, “No”, God means, “No!” We are a squirrelly bunch of sinners aren’t we? Like Balaam, we selfishly move to getting what we want through other means. For Balaam, that meant Balak would be the fall guy. Not only does Balak fall, but Balaam goes down with him – God knows all.

As we enter 2014, this is a great way to keep our hearts in check with understanding the difference between what God wants/says and what we want/do. If we put our own needs before God’s wants, we will be in some serious trouble… That’s disobedience! The ground we walk upon is not stable and the enemy, who is working overtime in our hearts, will implode the foundation in which we stand. Our motives will crumble under disobedience to God.

God is doing a lot of work in my own heart. My heart is under some serious construction and I’m seeking my strength to be obedient. I hope you have a new years resolution to allow God to work on your heart. Of course that only comes through the reading and living out of His Word. Numbers 25 might be a great start and I look forward to growing in Christ with you this year.

Sinner In the Middle


Today’s Devotion: Numbers 16

Do you remember the game Monkey in the Middle? Two people stand a distance a part and the person in the middle is trying to intercept the ball. Should they catch it, the thrower becomes the new monkey.

In Numbers 16 we have a situation of “Korah in the middle” and there is one big problem with that. God and Moses were playing toss and they never asked Korah to play; he just jumped in. Just like a big bully on the playground, Korah intervenes by trying to spike the ball which was a very bad move on his part. The moral of this chapter is, “Don’t get in the way of God’s plans, especially he hasn’t invited you to be a part of them.”

That’s exactly what Korah did. He built up a rebellion against Moses and Aaron and had their own agenda; and that agenda was not God’s. Even worse, they were jealous of Moses and Aaron and took it upon themselves to rise against them and they succeeded by bringing a lot of people down with them, but never got to Moses and Aaron.

How does this play out in our lives? We read and know the will of God, but we see an opportunity to impose our will. We do this for a lot of reasons (selfish ambition, boredom, impatience, jealousy, anger, etc.), but the primary reason is sin. God has a plan for our lives, but in our sin we craft a better idea; our idea. The result – we jump into the middle of God’s plan and try to get him to move toward us, instead of us moving toward Him.

The results were not favorable for Korah, his men, and 14,700 innocent Israelites who were affected by the plague that God began due to Korah’s rebellio. It’s a big mess and the chapter doesn’t have a overtly happy ending, but there is a clear message here and that message is that we don’t want to get in God’s way. Today I am reminded to pray to God as Jesus did, “42 Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42