I want to illustrate the root of frustration through the story of Balaam. When God says, ‘Do not’ and we do, He will block our way. Numbers 22:1-35 is the narrative. The king of the Moabites was sick with dread because of the children of Israel. He sent his men to hire Balaam to curse them. God gave clear instruction when Balaam recounted what the men said.
Verse 12 says, “…You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” Balaam went. Verse 22 says, “Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him…” The donkey saw the Angel. Verse 23 says, “…standing in the way with a drawn sword in His hand…” The donkey turned aside and Balaam struck her.
Verse 24 is a great description of frustration, “…a narrow path…with a wall on this side and a wall on that side.” Have you ever felt hemmed in when you tried to do something? Verse 26 says that the Angel stood in a narrow place, “…where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.” First the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, then He opened Balaam’s eyes. The Angel asked him why he struck his donkey three times. Verse 32 says, “…Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me.”
Years ago the Holy Spirit gave me a working definition for frustration: God intercepting my way to redirect me into His way. When we push through in our flesh, the Lord will block us. Romans 8:8 says, “So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” What else doesn’t please God? Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him…”
Paul gave definitive clarity to what sin is. Romans 14:23 says, “…for whatever is not from faith is sin.” Certainly, anything that we do in our flesh is absent of faith. Have you ever considered that when God says, ‘Do not’ and we do that there is a hidden lie behind our disobedience? Let’s look at a few examples from Scripture.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing…” Matthew 6:25 says, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life…” Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you…” What is the common denominator? Self focus! Every fiery dart lie that we accept penetrates deep into our heart. From that one lie, satan will build an inner fortress of lies that will opaque our view of the Lord.
Every lie is planted to defeat our faith. Faith is believing God’s word and acting upon it. Any resistance to His will will be blocked because our way is perverse. Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.” Do we really hate what God hates? Proverbs 3:32 Amplified says, “For the perverse are an abomination (extremely disgusting and detestable) to the Lord; but His confidential communion and secret counsel are with the (uncompromisingly) righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him).”
Do you see satan’s scheme? He will do whatever he can through his lies to break up our communion with the Lord. When we seek our way, we depart from His way. It is only as we yield to the Holy Spirit that we can be led. The rest of Hebrews 11:6 says, “…for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” There is nothing on this earth that is worth blocking our intimate communion with Him.