Summary: My question today is ‘are we opening our eyes to the direction God wants us to go, or are we going our own way?’
Introduction: My message today is on the topic of direction.
My question today is ‘are we opening our eyes to the direction God wants us to go, or are we going our own way?’
I. God guides us, if we allow Him
A. At first Balaam was just guided out of the way
1. God tries to guide us in directions
2. We feel we should be in control
3. Illustration 1: Parents love their teenagers, and when they decide they want something they do not need or shouldn’t have, the parents attempt to guide them to the correct path.
4. GOD GUIDES US AS A LOVING PARENT
5. Romans 8:14 – “For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God”
B. Then the animal added pain by smashing his foot
1. God sometimes will allow adversity
2. We fight and say it is unfair
3. Illustration 2: If the initial guidance fails, the parent may resort to some kind of deterrent like grounding or restriction. A little uneasiness will sometimes get the job done.
4. GOD DISCIPLINES AS A LOVING PARENT
5. Job 5:17 says, “Behold, Happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty” or God blesses you by correcting you, so don’t get upset with Him.
C. Finally the animal stopped walking and lay down
1. Eventually God will let you go your own way
2. This happens when we insist on being in control
3. Illustration 3: Once parents have done all they can to lead in the right direction, sometimes they step aside. Not because they stop loving their child, but they are willing to allow a child to make a mistake in hopes that the child will learn a lesson. This is very hard for parents because they want to embrace and protect the child, like God wants to embrace and protect us.
4. GOD DOES NOT CONTEND
5. Genesis 6:3 says, “…My Spirit will not always strive with man…”
6. Strive: to struggle in opposition
Transitional statement: Not only does God lead us if we allow Him, but…
II. God uses miracles to help guide us
A. Balaam’s anger caused him to overlook God’s miracle
1. Can you imagine what you would do if an animal SPOKE to you?
2. We ask how could he have taken such a miracle so nonchalantly
3. We witness miracles everyday, yet we are so fixed on ourselves that we usually pay no attention
a) Childbirth / seeing life brand new
b) Nature / trees, plants and animals
c) Life itself / we are not here by accident, we are a miracle
d) It is said by scientists that if you took the information going on in your body and put it into book form, the pages would be so many they would fill the Grand Canyon.
B. What miracles are we overlooking in our lives at this very moment?
Transitional statement: As much as God has taken the responsibility to guide us, we have a responsibility as well…
III. We have to open our eyes to His guidance
A. The Truth was there all along, Balaam just chose not to see it
B. THERE IS NO ONE SO BLIND, AS HE WHO CHOOSES NOT TO SEE
C. His stubbornness had kept his eyes closed
1. Is your stubbornness keeping your eyes closed to the truth?
a) Romans 2:5 says, “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed”
b) STUBBORNESS IS THE PROBLEM
c) Stubborn: hard to convince, persuade, or move to action
2. Do you intentionally close your eyes, so that you can have your own way?
Optional Illustration: Have you ever seen ‘Cops’, the television show? They run up to someone’s front door, and kick right through it. That is the same way we choose to proceed in life sometimes. Instead of allowing God to open doors for us, we choose to kick the doors down ourselves. But it is a lot harder to put a door back up, than it is to kick it down. In life we should look toward the doors God is opening for us, instead of trying to impose our own will by kicking the doors we want down.
Balaam fought to get his own way.
If he had continued going his own way it would have led to his destruction.
God is trying to lead us; He has a plan for our lives
If we are fighting His will to get our own way, then we are bound for destruction as well
Above all the Holy Spirit is trying to lead you…