Friday, March 13, 2015


There’s nothing more frustrating than an unexpected detour, especially if you’re pressed for time. It may only take you off the path by a few blocks or it could be several miles. I’m guilty of turning down the wrong road and reaching a dead end. When you’re in the country, there’s not always a yellow warning sign.

What about our path in life? The road we travel to our goals and dreams. Perhaps an unfamiliar area God has led us to. Sometimes we hit road blocks here, too. When this happens, we’re so inclined to think that Satan is resisting our progress, doing everything he can to make us trip and stumble. But what if Satan isn't the one at work? 

What if it’s God?

Numbers 22 is the account of Balak’s fear against the Israelites because of their large population. He heard what the Israelites had done to the Amorites, and worried they would capture, slay, and take over Moab as well. That fear propelled Balak to send for Balaam--a sorcerer known for his effective curses and blessings--in hopes that Balaam would curse the Israelites. But God told Balaam not to go, so Balaam refused Balak. But Balak didn’t give up easily. He pursued Balaam’s help again, promising riches and status. Though God had already told Balaam not to go, this time he went. 

While traveling with the princes of Moab, Balaam’s donkey started misbehaving. First, the animal refused to stay on the path, then he crushed Balaam’s foot against a wall, and, when all else failed, the donkey laid down. This angered Balaam. He struck the donkey and threatened to kill it. Offended by this action after all his years of faithful service, the donkey asked Balaam why he was being abusive.

Instead of running away screaming because his donkey spoke, Balaam answered. Then God opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the path, sword drawn. 

Click to tweet: Roadblocks--who's at work, Satan or God?

It wasn’t Satan blocking Balaam’s path, it was the hand of God. You see, Balaam thought if he traveled to Moab and told Balak in person that he refused to curse the Israelites it would be okay. Except God had already told him not to go. The angel on the road was not only sent there to protect the Israelites, but God was also protecting Balaam from falling into temptation. Now the story goes on, but I won’t touch on that today.  

As we travel this road God put us on, it’s easy to convince ourselves we know how to make the right choices on our own without His guidance, even if done subconsciously. And sometimes we misinterpret God’s voice.

So the next time you hit a roadblock, stop and consider it might not be Satan fighting against you, but it might be God trying to keep you from detouring to a place you don’t really want to go. 

~photo credit: digitalart/