Written by: Bill Elliff
Every genuine follower of Christ wants to be used. And in the day in which we live, we desperately need men and women who are in a position to be mighty instruments for personal and corporate revival and awakening in our day. So, how do I cooperate with God in ways that increase my usefulness to Him? The story of Balaam in Numbers 22-24 gives us a clue.
RESIST IMPURE MOTIVATIONS
Balaam was asked by godless King Balak to come and curse the Israelites. Apparently, he offered Balaam money—lots of it. After an initial, refusal Balaam went, not because God had instructed him to go, but because he wanted something for himself. The end result? The angel of the Lord stood directly in his way and opposed him! (God promises to always “resist the proud.” James 4:6)
God can use anything to correct us. In an hilarious twist, God disciplined Balaam through his donkey. The lowly beast had eyes to see the angel, but the prophet of God (who was supposed to see things others couldn’t see) did not! In other words, if you strike out on your own, without God’s leadership and a sinful motivation, you will not see the obvious with God.
No man can be fully used of God when he is not in a position to see and hear from God. (Read that sentence carefully again). Impure motivations strip you of the things you need most as a servant of God. Do you want to lose your ability to hear from God? Live for greed or selfish ambition and the donkeys around you will see more than you.
Balaam, when confronted by God repented of his sinfulness (“I have sinned…if it is evil in Thy sight I will turn back” Numbers 22:34). But now, with a submitted follower, God allows him to go and is going to use him in an extraordinary way for a season.
What are the two things you need most to minister to others? God’s Word and God’s Spirit. Do you know how those are experienced in the lives of men and women who are understandably touched with the dust of this world?
“Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my Spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you. (Proverbs 1:23 NASV)
It is impossible for us, in this life, to achieve sinless perfection, but we can mature in immediate repentance. We can become more and more sensitive to the promptings of God’s Spirit and the illumination of His Word. God can use a man or woman who will quickly turn when He corrects.
MOVE AND SPEAK BY GOD’S INITIATION
Now revived, Balaam reminds Balak in multiple conversations that he is only going to speak what God tells him.
Balaam said to Balak, “Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak.” (Numbers 22:38)
…and the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth and said, "Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak." (Numbers 23:5) How can I curse who God has not cursed? (Numbers 23:8)
And he answered and said, “Must I not take care to speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?” (Numbers 23:12)
And the LORD met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak.” (Numbers 23:16)
But Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell you, ‘All that the LORD says, I must do’?” (Numbers 23:26)
If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the LORD, to do either good or bad of my own will. What the LORD speaks, that will I speak.” (Numbers 24:13)
…the oracle of a man whose eye is opened…who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered…” (Numbers 24:15)
Genuine, effect ministry flows from a well filled with multiple components:
· a constant, humble recognition of my sinfulness and need of God
· the willingness to let God purge me of all impure motivations
· the faith to depend upon the Lord alone and give Him the glory when He uses me
· the settled determination to only move and speak at His initiation
· a deliberate obedience, regardless of what others may think or say
· a confidence in God’s Word and His care of me when I proclaim it
This is the man who, although imperfect, finds himself being used of God to give what God has to those around him. These are the men we need.
(copyright Bill Elliff, All Rights Reserved)
2ProphetU is an online magazine/website, started by Warren Wiersbe and Michael Catt, to build up the church, seek revival, and encourage pastors.