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We have a contract with God, each of us. It's
been spelt out for us clearly and
unequivocally. We need to know what that
contract says. Our obligations. God's
obligations. What it gives us and what it
doesn't give us. It's key!
Chapter 18 spells it out. It's called Our
Contract with God.
Follow this link to find out >>>.
| The Balaam Principle
following the road of Balaam son of Bosor, who loved the wages of doing wrong,
but was rebuked for his own transgression;
a speechless donkey spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
and his donkey. In the story, God places an invisible angel with drawn sword across
Balaam’s path to prevent the prophet and his donkey from making a journey that
God has forbidden. Three times the donkey refuses to cross the angel, and in so
doing, three times saves the unwitting prophet from certain death. Finally, God
opens the mouth of the donkey to speak in human language. Balaam’s eyes are
opened to see the angel and the nature of the imminent danger, and Balaam is
forced to bow to God’s rebuke from the mouth of his own animal.
There’s a serious lesson for us in this story, which is that God can speak through
anyone. Balaam was a spiritual leader of high repute. He had a high opinion of
himself and of his own spiritual gifts, and as a prophet he naturally expected to be
God’s spokesman to others. God decided differently.
In terms of absolute spiritual gifting and depth of knowledge, Balaam was clearly
way ahead of the donkey. But God, who is no respecter of persons, was not
impressed by Balaam’s office and didn't see him as deserving of special treatment.
To bring him down to earth and deflate his foolish pride, God looked around for the
most menial, insignificant messenger he could find, and he chose the donkey.
God is not limited to using those with greater knowledge, experience, and status to
teach those with less. He can, and often does, reverse the roles.
For those who identify with the self-styled spiritual leader Balaam, the message is:
Listen to everyone, no matter how menial or inexperienced they may seem to you.
You never know who might be the next donkey in your life, sent by God as a bearer
of wisdom to keep you on track.
For those who identify more with the donkey, the message is: You may lack
experience, wisdom, or natural talent, but it doesn’t matter. God can still use you as
his chosen instrument to speak his word to those older and more experienced. Be
ready for it, and don’t be surprised or resist it if it happens. It may even involve
wisdom beyond your natural capabilities. Balaam knew a lot more about angels than
the donkey, who probably knew nothing at all; but that didn’t stop God from
providing the donkey with a single, blinding flash of supernatural wisdom to set his
We may feel, like the donkey, that we are condemned to be instruments in the
execution of other people’s plans and agendas forever. This is not at all what God
wants for us. If that’s how we see it, we need a thorough reordering of our own self-
image as well as of our God-image. This can take time and patience. As we navigate
this process, it can be useful to remind ourselves occasionally of the story of Balaam.
There’s a final lesson, or warning, here. When we critically appraise the leaders
in our churches, we need to ask ourselves the question, “Where do they stand on the
Balaam scale?” A true spiritual leader will always have an eye open for the donkey
in his life. He won’t limit God, and he will always keep himself open to hear the
opinions of those younger and less experienced than himself. He should be happy to
have God rebuke or correct him through such a one.
Many leaders will not pass this test. These are men in whom the character of God is
improperly formed. Their sensibility of their own status makes them incapable of
seeing a donkey as anything other than a convenient means of transport. We need to
be wary of such men. It doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily in the wrong place or
position—God has room for imperfect men at every level. It does, however, mean
that many of their responses will be determined by fleshly rather than spiritual
considerations, and so we need to treat them with caution.
Hierarchy is deeply ingrained in the church, and we will probably be taught that God
wants it that way. We may be told that it’s wrong to question, to express opinions, or
to follow God’s leading in our lives without approval from above. It’s lucky that
Balaam’s donkey didn’t think that way and didn’t feel the need to ask Balaam’s
permission before opening his mouth—otherwise history might have turned out
The story of Balaam and his donkey is a warning against excessive pride and
willfulness, and a warning against excessive or inappropriate humility. We should
never put a limit on what God can do through us—to do so is to insult him. I may
have a low opinion of myself, but I can hardly go any lower than Balaam’s donkey,
and I should never use my own human limitations as an excuse for limiting what God
can do through me.
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Download FREE E-book >>>
Following the bankruptcy of my first
publisher, "How to Survive in the Pharisee
Church" is no longer being sold online in its
printed form (though I have copies and am
happy to send you one if you contact me
In the meantime, while I am negotiating with
another publisher to re-release the printed
book, I am happy to offer it as a free PDF
download. This is derived from the
publisher's final proof, and is identical in
every way apart from not having a cover.
This offer may be temporary, so better to
take it now!
On the same basis I am now able to offer the
e-book as a free download, since the first
publisher's rights have lapsed. Again, I don't
know how long this offer will last, so best take
it now if you are interested.
This will work on Kindle and (I think) on all
major e-book players