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How many times have we heard the admonition to just push through? To pray against resistance and not let Satan win? How many times have we prayed for God to remove ‘the enemy’ from our paths and clear the way?
But what if the roadblock isn’t from the enemy of your soul? What if instead, it is from the Lover of your soul?
Not All Roadblocks Are From Satan
In Numbers 22, Balaam is about to disobey God (again). From the context of the chapter, we can see that Balaam is a prophet, but not one with fierce loyalties to the One True God.
God has clearly told Balaam what that he is not to proclaim a curse over the nation of Israel because God has chosen to bless them (Numbers 22:12). Balaam submits to that, but when Balak persistently requests otherwise with the allure of a larger reward, Balaam is swayed to ‘ask God just one more time.’
His lack of obedience has God granting him permission to go to Balak, but he has not released him to speak freely and curse Israel. Even though God lets Balaam go, it is not His plan and He is pretty frustrated with Balaam’s resistance to obedience.
Has that ever happened to you? God has closed a door, sent you in another direction completely, but you still ask Him to reconsider? Yeah, I’ve done that.
Recognizing God’s Place In It All
On the way, God throws up a roadblock to stop Balaam from doing something bad. However, this roadblock is invisible to Balaam. Only his donkey sees it.
The donkey tries not to pass, but Balaam is a persistent man. The third time the donkey yielded to the angel God had sent to block the path, God allowed the donkey to speak to Balaam.
Bizarre, right? Yet Balaam had a dialogue with it. And then God opened his eyes and he saw the angel. And the message to Balaam?
“Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me.” (Numbers 22:32b, NLT)
God had to spell it out for Balaam: You were stubborn. You resisted my directions. You didn’t submit to my will. I gave you some room to try again. Now, I’m stepping in your way.
It wasn’t until Balaam had a conversation with a donkey, saw an angel, and then received an audible message that he recognized God in the roadblock. The man was hard-headed.
I can be hard-headed sometimes, too.
We Should Always Pray Against Resistance
I do agree that we should always pray against resistance.
However, not resistance against our will and our plans. We should only pray against resistance that comes against God’s will…even if that resistance stares us in the mirror in the mornings.
Sometimes Satan isn’t my roadblock to God’s will.
Yes, you read that right. Sometimes I am my own roadblock to God’s best in my life.
Like Balaam, I desire to capitalize on my gifts and abilities, to make my own plans for my own good, and to chart my own course. Like Balaam, I have met with resistance.
Unlike Balaam, I’ve never had a donkey talk to me or seen an angel blocking my way. That means it’s even more important for me to pray for God to open my eyes and for God to melt my resisting heart when it’s moving against His purposes.