"Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown." (Numbers 22:31 NIV)
We have been studying Luke 1-2 this week in my small group. Chapter 2 begins with the familiar story of Christ's birth and the only stories we have of Jesus' childhood. A lot of this chapter focuses on obedience. Mary and Joseph obeyed God's call to them, the shepherds and the wise men obeyed angels and God's prodding to go to the Christ child. Joseph obeyed God's direction to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to escape danger. Simeon and Anna obeyed God's guidance and promises of seeing the Savior. They all obeyed, were rewarded for their obedience and were part of the greatest story ever told, one that saves us even today.
Hearing God's call, listening to his guidance, following the path He is setting for us, hanging on to His promises...all lessons that we learn from one chapter of the Bible, but lessons that have been a major part of my life this week.
Listening for and hearing God's guidance is not always easy. A friend explained it to me like a GPS. When you are driving down the road and your GPS tells you to make a U-turn, and we know U-turns are mostly illegal, we just keep going the direction we THINK is right. We get further and further off track and all along the GPS voice tells us to make a U-turn. Finally, we get so far off course that our smart GPS system says "Recalculating" and starts us off on a different course to get to our destination. God knows where he wants us to go, if we listen and obey and follow his directions, our journey will be smoother with fewer detours.
But...what happens when we THINK we are going in the right direction, but we just never seem to reach where we are going. There is a barrier in our way, stopping us from getting where we THINK we are supposed to go.
Read about Balaam in Numbers, chapter 22. His story REALLY relates to our lives today. Sometimes we can't even see the barriers in front if us...we just know we just can't seem to get where we want to go. FINALLY, poor Balaam's eyes were opened and he saw that an angel had been blocking his path. God wanted him to go a different direction.
I am dealing with such issues in my life right now. I pray that my eyes are opened to barriers in my way. I pray that I listen to that GPS system in my head, which is God directing me, and I pray that I obey that direction. I pray the same for you!