Each time I go over the story of Balaam in Numbers 22 to 24, I can't help but be amazed. The guy really had a close personal relationship with God although he was a false prophet. In fact, he was a sorcerer or warlock. God personally came to him, talked with him, guided him and gave him powers.
How can a sorcerer have close relationship with God?
And I mean really close. He talked with God in the real sense of the term. And God really talked back to him and gave him specific, direct and accurate instructions, something a lot of Christians cannot claim to enjoy today. Often, what we claim that God told us is nothing but wild guess. We pray and guess what God's answer is and often find ourselves wrong. We talk to God but usually face a blank wall. And often we don't see or hear anything in the spirit realms so we depend on what we see and hear in the flesh.
But Balaam heard God, and not just figuratively. He was "one whose eyes clearly see" and "hears the words of God." This false prophet "sees a vision from the Almighty." And he worshiped deeply because he "falls prostrate" before God. In contrast, what so many church leaders see today are imagined or intellectual visions derived from what they see and conclude in the flesh, obtained from what they learned from professors at seminary or bible school or what logic tells them, not supernatural as Balaam had them. Old Testament prophets and Jesus and his apostles all got supernatural visions direct from God, not from their own intellects.
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And almost nobody in church today "hears" the words of God or worships God on their knees literally these days. They assume decent, respectable postures and gestures in worship but which result to nothing in the spirit realms. Lots of pastors merely borrow sermon outlines from others or get ideas online. Not Balaam---he got fresh revelations straight from God, and he was a false prophet and sorcerer.
He even had the reputation of making things happen just through the words he releases from his mouth---like how God creates out of nothing by just saying it. King Balak said of Balaam that "What you bless gets blessed and what you curse gets cursed."
Balaam later explained that this was so because whatever God commanded him to speak, God fully supported with His actions after he released it. Can anyone among us today be able to claim the same support from God? What I hear most church leaders pray is "Well, if it is God's will then it will happen. If not then it won't." Balaam didn't have those "ifs" excuses. He heard straight from God and declared it, and God confirmed it. Why don't we have this today, and why did a sorcerer have it?
Have you ever heard Jesus pray an "if" prayer? If it's God's will, these few loaves of bread and fish will multiply and feed 5,000 men. If it's God's will, Lazarus will rise from death. If it's God's will, this water will turn into wine. Can you imagine Jesus praying like this? But Jesus heard straight from God and declared it and the Father made it happen, pretty much what God did to Balaam.
Moreover, Jesus said if we have faith and not doubt, we can tell this mountain to go throw itself into the sea and it will. He assured us, IT WILL HAPPEN. He even added at one time, "Nothing will be impossible for you." So, who taught the church to pray indecisively and just play safe by saying "if it's God's will"? This is a faithless, powerless prayer the church has become accustomed and comfortable with. And yet we boast of our "personal relationship" with God. Really? Then why are Balaam's words more powerful than ours?
The bible does say we should pray according to God's will always. But we have taken this to mean making wild guesses with our prayers---we guess what God's will is, never being certain or sure about it. So we say "if it is God's will" to play safe. It's not faith; it's saving face to make sure our dignity remains intact, whatever we mean by "dignity." Praying and declaring by faith has nothing to do with saving your dignity.
If Balaam, a false prophet and sorcerer, could be very sure about God's will by hearing it straight from God's mouth (so that he never used "ifs" but declared oracles confidently), why can't we sons and daughters of God in Christ? The church has been teaching us to keep safe with "ifs" and wild guesses with our prayers rather than teach us how to genuinely hear the words of God and confidently declare it and be able to say: "This is what God says!"
This is naturally the problem when church relies only on its human theology and wit to understand God and do away with supernatural revelations. They even mock at the supernatural ways of God and instead take pride in their smart, well though of, systematic ways. Or else, rely on tradition. "This is how we've always done things." It's like how the Samaritan woman took pride in the well their father Jacob had dug and asked Jesus if he was greater than their father Jacob.
We think God's supernatural ways are no match to our traditions or denominational church fathers or founders and theologians. And this has resulted to churches that achieve things only in the physical realms (like church membership and church income and church programs) but nothing in the spiritual realms. Even their "evangelism" only covers intellectual conversions (people are scared to go to hell so they receive Jesus), while their souls and spirits remain untouched, still accustomed with and focused on earthly things.
Thus, church has lots of carnal Christians who claim to be born again and yet remain in sin, and members who have been in church for decades and yet remain immature.
Balaam should challenge us today. How come he had that access to God and we don't? We just entertain and content ourselves with our religion---church programs, activities and worship services.
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