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The Real Deal

Words of Faith Final

The Real Deal

Words of Faith 7-10-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Numbers 22

    [15] Then Balak sent other princes, more numerous and more distinguished than the first. [16] They came to Balaam and said:

  "This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me, [17] because I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse on these people for me."

    [18] But Balaam answered them, "Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the Lord my God. [19] Now stay here tonight as the others did, and I will find out what else the Lord will tell me."

    [20] That night God came to Balaam and said, "Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you."

 

        We don’t really know what was going on in the spiritual life of Balaam.  It appears that he had become a pawn in a game that was way over his head, but he was jockeying for position.  Balak was vying for Balaam’s attention, seeking a curse to be put upon the Israelites.  The offer was rich, a handsome reward for him if he would take Balak's side and pronounce a curse.  But Balaam resisted.  He determined it better to see if the mysterious voice he had heard would speak again.

         So, what was the reluctance here?  Was Balaam coming around to God, or was Balaam just trying to be a shrewd player?  It is likely the latter; he did not want to get on the wrong side of this deity that had spoken to him.  Remember that Balaam was not accustomed to such direct communication.  He normally “divined” the favor or intention of certain pagan gods by poking around in dissected animals.  This was a whole new deal. It would certainly afford for a much cleaner business in the future.

        Of course, we can see here the enticement of the world.  Balaam has been entrenched in a form of paganism, which normally went to the highest bidder.  Balak was willing to pay handsomely for the services of Balaam.  We might be tempted to think that Balaam was somehow seeking a higher truth, but it does not appear that there was anything here other than self-interest.  Balaam was weighing all options and trying to get on the side of self-preservation and power.

        How does that apply today?

        Many today will claim to be “spiritual” or on some sort of a quest for spiritual truth, when, in fact, they are simply motivated by self-interest.  People today are often not looking for spiritual truth as much as they are looking for something religious or even magical that will “work for them”.  Such self-fashioned religion is really no different from Balaam.  For years Balaam searched for “religious leadings” by poking around in animal entrails as long as he could get paid for it.  The voice of the Lord was just one more thing he thought he might use, manipulate, and sell.  All of it was self-serving.

         Genuine spiritual awakening to the one true and living God is always God-serving, not self-serving.  When we awaken to the truth of God, it is not the discovery of a “new system” or a “new plan” or something that “works for me”.  It is a confrontation with the ultimate reality in the universe; there is a God, and who He is and what He says is the only thing that matters.

           Where are you on your spiritual quest?  Have you been looking around for something comfortable and workable for you?  Have you been fashioning a mixture of religious thought that will serve you well?  Such "personalized" religion always hits the hard wall of reality at some point.  It is not about you.  It is about God.  He is real.  When you discover this truth, there is only one response, and that is to love Him will all your heart, mind, soul, and strength-- and serve Him as He directs.

 

          O God, forgive me for my self-centered wanderings.  Forgive me for trying to fashion a religion of my own or create a god to serve me.  It is all about You, and I confess this truth.  Show me how I am to love You today. Show me how to serve You today. In Jesus’ name.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.