Sometimes it feels as though we are breezing down the highway of life, no other cars in sight.
Other times our car screeches to a halt, coming face to face with an obstacle ahead — a bright orange sign that flashes DETOUR — put there by God to redirect our path.
But what happens when our own pride gets in the way?
What happens when we disregard God’s detour sign and continue down the road to a place we aren’t prepared to go or shouldn’t be altogether?
Balaam’s story serves as an answer to such a question as he made his way to Israel by request of King Balak — who wanted him to curse the Israelites — rather than by request of God.
The journey started out smooth until Balaam failed to see the angel of the Lord standing in the middle of the road – even as his donkey refused to move forward – in protest of the way which he was going.
At one point, God even told Balaam, “’Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed (Numbers 22:12 NLT)!’”
Yet he pressed onward, even getting injured in the process, “When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it tried to squeeze by and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So Balaam beat the donkey again.”
And we, just as Balaam, get injured all the same by something that could’ve been avoided had we taken the time to see God standing right there in front of us.
He blocks our way, but instead of bearing witness to his protection, we carry on unaware and oblivious to the many ways in which He tries to help us.
Then in response, we grow angry and confused as to why we can’t get to where we feel we should be.
And in certain instances, this may not only cause us to hurt ourselves, but hurt others who are only trying to help us. “This time when the donkey saw the angel, it lay down under Balaam. In a fit of rage Balaam beat the animal again with his staff (Numbers 22:27 NLT).”
Consequently, there comes a point in our lives when we have to realize that we aren’t the only car on the road and instead take caution to those around us, including ourselves.
But oftentimes we fail to do so and feel confident in the control we have — which ultimately leads to our pride. Yet shortly after, God always comes through to autocorrect our paths to remind us that we are going in the wrong direction.
As a result, God will prevent us from going to these places because, just as He blessed the Israelites, He wants to do the same for us.
For He will stand in the way of our enemies, even if that enemy comes from within us – in the form of our own stubborn flesh. “’Why did you beat your donkey those three times?’ the angel of the Lord demanded. ‘Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me (Numbers 22:32 NLT).'”
In turn, obstacles aren’t as bad as we may think them to be, they might very well be what we needed to get where God needs us to be, rather than where we think we should be.
Therefore, I ask that you pray with me for those who are feeling discouraged by the roadblocks in their lives, that they might not see them as a curse, but rather a blessing as God protects them from something they are unable to see on their own.
For, it is through His word that we can be reminded of just how important it is to follow His will over our lives – and the great impact it has not only on us, but in the lives of others.