Is God Always Leading?

Numbers 22 through 24 is the story of Balaam and his hire by Balak king of Moab to curse Israel who was camped at their doorstep peacefully asking to pass through the land of Moab. Balaam is told by the Lord not to go the first time Balaam was asked. The second time Balak sends messengers Balaam is told to go. On the road, the angel of the Lord appears in order to destroy Balaam. Famously, his donkey refuses to approach the angel, saving Balaam’s life, and speaks to him.

This is an interesting back and forth. It’s hard to tell what’s right. God tells Balaam not to go, but Balaam asks a second time and is told to go. But then God has an angel accost Balaam and almost kill him. Balaam arrives at the border of Moab, makes sacrifices and God gives him words to say which turn out to be blessings for Israel instead of the curses Balak purchased. Was Balaam doing right, or doing wrong? Was He following the will of the Lord? If so, why did God send an angel to destroy him?

There are several things to remember here. One is that Balaam is not a man of God. He is a diviner, one who reads omens for money. Two is that he was told once by God not to go, but asked a second time. Even though God gave permission after the second request, that did not mean it was okay to go. A man of God would’ve simply refused the money Balak was offering. The angel tells Balaam (Numbers 22:32) that he risked death because of his perversity. So three, Balaam was being perverse which means going against God. Balaam really, really wanted to go. He did not really, really want to listen to God. Peter (2 Peter 2:15) says that Balaam “loved gain from wrongdoing.” Balaam wasn’t motivated by love of the Lord, he was motivated by love of money. His love of money kept him questioning God because he didn’t really, really want to do what God said.

This is a story of how God used a perverse person to do something according to His will though the person was trying to work his own will. Just because God gave the man permission to go, does not mean that it was in the will of God for him to do it. A man of God wouldn’t have even had to consult God. He would’ve known that Israel was God’s chosen people, and would not have entertained the notion of cursing them for any amount of money. This is why the story seems to have odd ups and downs.

Lots of things we do in life we do because we really, really want to. Some of those things might be against God’s will. Sometimes God makes the things we do work His will anyway though we might not have intended it that way. We don’t even ask God what His will is many times, yet His will is always being worked out. It behooves us to prepare ourselves beforehand to conform to His will in all things by consulting the words He has given us and being obedient to them. Then when He gives us a personal direction we are more ready to hear it and do it.

Just because we CAN do a thing, doesn’t mean we SHOULD do a thing. The way to tell up from down is to hear and obey on a daily basis, strengthening our faith by working with the Word constantly. We work out with the Word regularly so that when heavy lifting is required, we know when and where and how God wants things done.


In Peter’s Place, What Would I Say?

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:21–23, ESV)

I was thinking about this event today, and I wondered what I would say had I been in Peter’s place. Pete was motivated by a desire to protect Jesus from the authorities, not quite realizing yet the full extent of who Jesus was and why He was going to have to suffer. Peter’s motives were perhaps “good,” but they were wrong. So wrong in fact that Jesus rebuked the person behind the statement (Satan) who had motivated the response of “This shall never happen to you.” Not only does this show that motives, even if we would classify them as “good,” can still be wrong, but it shows us that motive alone is not enough. We need to be in line with God’s will in order for even “good” motives to be actually good.

The thing that really got me with this situation though is that, knowing what I know now, what would I have said? Could I have looked into the eyes of the most humble, loving man ever and said, “If you don’t die I cannot live?” Would I have been able to say to God almighty that, “We need to get you to Jerusalem when it is time so that your miserable death can save the whole world?” Knowing that He is my Lord and Savior, God in the flesh, perfect and without shadow of turning in every way, could I have encouraged Him to suffer a vastly painful, torturous and ignominious death at the hands of murderers in exchange for my ugly, pitiful, sin-filled life? Would I have had the faith to trust and obey God’s will in this matter?

I don’t know. Jesus had to die, but woe to the people who did it, and woe to those who refuse to accept what He did. I thank Him every day and in every way I can think of for His sacrifice by reading every Word from Him and putting it everywhere in my life. He asks so little of me. Living the whole of His Word is such a small thing to do for a God who died such a huge death for me.


Where God Guides, God Provides?

Did you ever hear this statement? Have you ever heard a statement that is dumber?

“Where God guides, God provides.” Does this mean that if a project, like a mega-church, has His name on it, that means He was the one who wanted it built? No. Is money the only determining factor? No. Can a church be built for other reasons than God’s? Of course it can. Can a ministry not have money and still be God’s? Yes. So is this popular saying from God? No.

The corollary to this is “where Satan guides Satan provides.” If Satan wants something built, he can also provide for it. Duh. The proof of the legitimacy of a ministry is in how it conforms to His Word, not how much money it has. Let’s see. How many prophets of God had money? (Hint: none.) Mega-churches? (None again.) A nice car (or chariot)? (You guessed it – zippo.)

Did God not provide enough money to Jesus? Is that why He was killed? He had a few disciples who deserted Him at the end, and no money. Does this mean that God wasn’t guiding Jesus? See how stupid this bumper sticker Christian statement is?

I think in some ways God’s provision is exactly the opposite. If you don’t have money, or scads of acolytes, there’s a much greater chance that you are being guided by God.

The determining factor is the Word, stupid.

Video the Second: Our Second Youtube video

I probably won’t keep posting these, but they’re so useful I want to make sure people get the word. Our youtube channel is wholebible if you want to bookmark it. This video is on Reintroducing Whole Bible Christianity. If you’ve been reading the book you’ll notice right away that it provides much of the text for these videos. Just another format to get the word out about the Word.


Our First Whole Bible Video

Hey there groovy guys and groovy girls, what’s happening? We are pleased to announce our first video title The New Covenant. It is the beginning of a lot of videos using material in our book Whole Bible Christianity. Take a look. Give us your comments. Share it. We’re sure it’s going to shake things up here and there.