Pushing through barriers or how to keep a donkey from talking!

This past Sunday I illustrated one of my points by talking about Balaam. This is one hectic story, but never-the-less a brilliant one. The sermon was about “Seeing what God wants me to see”. You can listen to the sermon. Its week 3!

The story about Balaam is found in Numbers 22. Balaam sides with the “baddies” to curse the Israelites. God sends the Angel of the Lord to stop his progress, but because of Balaam’s bloody-minded determination to do this, he can’t see the Angel, but the donkey can. And so Balaam beats the donkey each time they are confronted with the Angel stopping their progress. Eventually, the donkey talks (!) and Balaam’s eyes are opened and he sees the error of his ways.

The point of the sermon was not so much about talking donkeys and God getting in the way of someone’s progress, it was more about not having “insight” into a barrier to your progress and then beating something or somebody else!

I remember reading something years ago in Rob Bell’s book “Sex god”. I don’t remember the exact quote or context but he said something along these lines; we often make something about “this” when it is actually about “that”! In other words, if someone has a barrier to progress at work, he or she may land up taking it out on someone at home. You have a fight with your spouse, so you kick the dog (or donkey)!

So the question is, if you are facing a barrier in something like your marriage, or with your kids, your ageing parents or your work – how do you get through or past this barrier?

Here are some thoughts.

  • Ask God to open your eyes.
  • In what way are you making the problem worse by having a predetermined outcome in mind? Be humble – pride can really entrench barriers
  • Ask for help. Don’t let that pride thing kick in again.
  • Formulate a plan or strategy and DO something each day about the barrier.
  • Don’t give up.
  • Stop beating the “donkey”. Don’t make ”this” about “that”!

Hope this helps

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