Balaam's Best Friend | TBN

Balaam's Best Friend

Watch Balaam's Best Friend
October 12, 2019
58:34

Hour of Power with Bobby Schuller

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Balaam's Best Friend

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  • by
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  • and viewers like you
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  • and viewers like you.
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  • Ed Arnold: Believe it or not,
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  • the holidays are just around the corner,
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  • and today we're continuing our tradition of offering
  • 00:00:11.280 --> 00:00:15.040
  • a unique Christmas ornament to our "Hour of Power" viewers.
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  • Take a look at the exclusive angel ornament
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  • we've created for you this year.
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  • Delicately crafted, this stunning decoration
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  • will light up your Christmas tree.
  • 00:00:26.230 --> 00:00:28.270
  • What a wonderful way to usher in the holidays
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  • and at the same time help the "Hour of Power"
  • 00:00:31.260 --> 00:00:34.130
  • stay on the air in your home and in homes around the world.
  • 00:00:34.140 --> 00:00:38.290
  • We're asking for your generous gift of any amount.
  • 00:00:39.000 --> 00:00:42.110
  • Call, write, or go online today to request your 2019
  • 00:00:42.120 --> 00:00:46.140
  • Christmas Angel ornament.
  • 00:00:46.150 --> 00:00:48.130
  • Thank you for watching the "Hour of Power"
  • 00:00:48.140 --> 00:00:50.150
  • and for your ongoing generous support
  • 00:00:50.160 --> 00:00:53.030
  • to help keep this program on the air.
  • 00:00:53.040 --> 00:00:55.090
  • Now, let's join the service.
  • 00:00:55.100 --> 00:00:57.100
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  • Joyful, joyful, we adore you
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  • God of glory, Lord of love
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  • Hearts unfold like flow'rs before you
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  • op'ning to the sun above
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  • Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
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  • drive the dark of doubt away
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  • Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day
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  • Amen, Amen
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  • Amen!
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  • Bobby Schuller: This is the day the Lord has made.
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  • Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
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  • Good morning.
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  • Hannah Schuller: Welcome visitors,
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  • welcome, church family.
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  • It is good to be with you.
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  • Today may we not lean on our own understanding,
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  • but will we trust God with passionate patience.
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  • Thank you so much for being here today.
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  • You are so loved.
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  • Bobby: We're so excited today too to have Sean Oliu,
  • 00:02:15.130 --> 00:02:17.210
  • the Mouseketeer, and the Coastline Cowboys
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  • will be leading us in a couple songs.
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  • And then we're just so grateful you're here as well and are
  • 00:02:23.050 --> 00:02:26.070
  • really looking forward to spending this morning with you,
  • 00:02:26.080 --> 00:02:28.140
  • worshiping with you.
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  • And wherever you are on television, we're so glad
  • 00:02:30.010 --> 00:02:31.220
  • you're joining us and online on Facebook.
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  • Thank you for being here.
  • 00:02:33.230 --> 00:02:35.140
  • Let's begin with a Word of prayer.
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  • Father, we thank you and we love you, and we ask in Jesus's name,
  • 00:02:37.110 --> 00:02:41.050
  • that your Holy Spirit would fill the hearts and minds of everyone
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  • under the sound of my voice.
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  • Lord, many of us are here searching after you, and we're
  • 00:02:46.160 --> 00:02:50.120
  • looking after goals and things like this.
  • 00:02:50.130 --> 00:02:52.200
  • And very often we hurt people in our lives, or we get hurt.
  • 00:02:52.210 --> 00:02:55.280
  • I pray, Father, that your healing power and redemptive
  • 00:02:55.290 --> 00:02:58.210
  • work would be obvious in our relationships, in our families.
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  • Lord, we love you.
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  • It's in Jesus's name we pray, amen.
  • 00:03:03.170 --> 00:03:05.120
  • Hannah: Amen, turn around and shake the hand of the person
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  • next to you and say, "God loves you and so do I."
  • 00:03:07.130 --> 00:03:11.080
  • announcer: As we prepare for the upcoming holiday season,
  • 00:03:14.220 --> 00:03:17.180
  • we are continuing the annual tradition of offering
  • 00:03:17.190 --> 00:03:20.060
  • a unique Christmas ornament to our "Hour of Power"
  • 00:03:20.070 --> 00:03:23.070
  • friends and partners.
  • 00:03:23.080 --> 00:03:25.020
  • Just look at this beautiful
  • 00:03:25.030 --> 00:03:26.240
  • and intricately-crafted angel ornament.
  • 00:03:26.250 --> 00:03:29.120
  • When you hang it on your tree or place it in your home,
  • 00:03:29.130 --> 00:03:32.100
  • you'll be reminded of the promise
  • 00:03:32.110 --> 00:03:34.080
  • fulfilled in Jesus's birth.
  • 00:03:34.090 --> 00:03:36.060
  • We're asking for a generous gift of any size.
  • 00:03:36.070 --> 00:03:39.170
  • For your gift of $60 or more, we'll include our
  • 00:03:39.180 --> 00:03:43.020
  • "O Come Let Us Adore Him" Advent devotional
  • 00:03:43.030 --> 00:03:46.070
  • and activity card set.
  • 00:03:46.080 --> 00:03:48.080
  • Each day of the devotional
  • 00:03:48.090 --> 00:03:49.150
  • offers a short Scripture reading,
  • 00:03:49.160 --> 00:03:51.150
  • engaging questions, and beautiful illustrations
  • 00:03:51.160 --> 00:03:54.140
  • and photography.
  • 00:03:54.150 --> 00:03:56.050
  • In addition, this set of 25 satin finished cards
  • 00:03:56.060 --> 00:03:59.080
  • features one activity or inspirational thought
  • 00:03:59.090 --> 00:04:02.080
  • to engage your family on each day of the Advent season.
  • 00:04:02.090 --> 00:04:05.270
  • Call, write, or go online today
  • 00:04:05.280 --> 00:04:08.060
  • and request these special resources
  • 00:04:08.070 --> 00:04:10.160
  • designed to encourage you and your loved ones
  • 00:04:10.170 --> 00:04:13.120
  • this holiday season.
  • 00:04:13.130 --> 00:04:15.130
  • Bobby: Your generous financial gift in this season
  • 00:04:16.070 --> 00:04:18.110
  • is good news to us.
  • 00:04:18.120 --> 00:04:20.270
  • It enables us to continue proclaiming the message
  • 00:04:20.280 --> 00:04:23.110
  • of Jesus's hope, love, and faithfulness to millions
  • 00:04:23.120 --> 00:04:26.160
  • around the world who haven't heard it yet.
  • 00:04:26.170 --> 00:04:29.110
  • God is continuing to write the story he began
  • 00:04:29.120 --> 00:04:31.270
  • in this ministry nearly 50 years ago,
  • 00:04:31.280 --> 00:04:34.060
  • and we are counting on him to move in the hearts
  • 00:04:34.070 --> 00:04:37.020
  • of our friends who understand the tremendous value
  • 00:04:37.030 --> 00:04:40.040
  • and impact of the "Hour of Power."
  • 00:04:40.050 --> 00:04:43.150
  • 00:04:43.160 --> 00:04:51.000
  • Hannah: You may be seated.
  • 00:06:53.040 --> 00:06:54.290
  • In preparation for the message, Numbers 22:30.
  • 00:06:55.000 --> 00:07:00.160
  • "The donkey said to Balaam, 'Am I not your own donkey,
  • 00:07:00.170 --> 00:07:06.070
  • which you have always ridden, to this day?
  • 00:07:06.080 --> 00:07:09.240
  • Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?'
  • 00:07:09.250 --> 00:07:13.090
  • 'No,' he said.
  • 00:07:13.100 --> 00:07:15.130
  • Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel
  • 00:07:15.140 --> 00:07:20.150
  • of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn.
  • 00:07:20.160 --> 00:07:25.270
  • So he bowed low and fell facedown.
  • 00:07:25.280 --> 00:07:29.270
  • The angel of the Lord asked him,
  • 00:07:29.280 --> 00:07:32.250
  • 'Why have you beaten your donkey these three times?
  • 00:07:32.260 --> 00:07:36.100
  • I have come here to oppose you because your path
  • 00:07:36.110 --> 00:07:40.100
  • is a reckless one before me.'"
  • 00:07:40.110 --> 00:07:44.070
  • Church family, we are striving to trust God's plan
  • 00:07:44.080 --> 00:07:48.100
  • wholeheartedly and not to get angry at those trying
  • 00:07:48.110 --> 00:07:52.250
  • to help us, amen.
  • 00:07:52.260 --> 00:07:56.190
  • 00:07:56.200 --> 00:08:05.130
  • [congregation applauding]
  • 00:13:22.160 --> 00:13:28.030
  • announcer: Kayla Stoecklein is a mom of three boys
  • 00:13:28.040 --> 00:13:30.250
  • and an inspirational speaker.
  • 00:13:30.260 --> 00:13:33.050
  • In August of 2018, her husband Andrew,
  • 00:13:33.060 --> 00:13:36.150
  • pastor of Inland Hills Church, died by suicide.
  • 00:13:36.160 --> 00:13:40.220
  • She's now an advocate for mental health in churches
  • 00:13:40.230 --> 00:13:43.210
  • and how we can support our community and leaders
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  • who suffer with mental illness.
  • 00:13:46.130 --> 00:13:48.180
  • Kayla Stoecklein: No matter your mistakes,
  • 00:13:48.190 --> 00:13:50.070
  • no matter your mental health, God's got you, God's got this,
  • 00:13:50.080 --> 00:13:53.100
  • and God can do impossible things.
  • 00:13:53.110 --> 00:13:55.200
  • Please welcome Kayla Stoecklein.
  • 00:13:55.210 --> 00:13:58.220
  • [congregation applauding]
  • 00:13:58.230 --> 00:14:02.170
  • Bobby: Kayla, thank you so much for being here to address
  • 00:14:06.190 --> 00:14:08.280
  • something I think is very near and dear to a lot of people's
  • 00:14:08.290 --> 00:14:11.080
  • hearts and that is sort of the sometimes taboo subject
  • 00:14:11.090 --> 00:14:15.070
  • of mental health within the church.
  • 00:14:15.080 --> 00:14:18.020
  • And you've really gone through a lot.
  • 00:14:18.030 --> 00:14:21.000
  • And before we sort of get into the issues the church is facing
  • 00:14:21.010 --> 00:14:23.170
  • today, first maybe you can tell us a little bit about your story
  • 00:14:23.180 --> 00:14:26.190
  • and kind of what your family went through.
  • 00:14:26.200 --> 00:14:29.200
  • Kayla Stoecklein: So, in August of 2018, last year,
  • 00:14:29.210 --> 00:14:32.020
  • my husband Andrew, who was the lead pastor of our church
  • 00:14:32.030 --> 00:14:34.280
  • at the time, he had been on an extended sabbatical
  • 00:14:34.290 --> 00:14:38.120
  • battling depression and anxiety, and we were doing everything
  • 00:14:38.130 --> 00:14:41.260
  • we knew to do to get him better.
  • 00:14:41.270 --> 00:14:44.000
  • And so, in August, he went back to work and he hit the ground
  • 00:14:44.010 --> 00:14:46.220
  • running and gave two very powerful messages
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  • on mental illness.
  • 00:14:49.020 --> 00:14:50.250
  • He was using his own story as an example and talking
  • 00:14:50.260 --> 00:14:52.190
  • about his own struggles with depression and anxiety.
  • 00:14:52.200 --> 00:14:55.180
  • And unfortunately, headed into the third week of his message
  • 00:14:55.190 --> 00:14:58.140
  • series, Andrew had a really bad day,
  • 00:14:58.150 --> 00:15:00.260
  • there was a trigger.
  • 00:15:00.270 --> 00:15:02.150
  • And the next day he attempted suicide,
  • 00:15:02.160 --> 00:15:05.000
  • and we were all stunned and shocked
  • 00:15:05.010 --> 00:15:07.130
  • and we never saw it coming, this man that was being
  • 00:15:07.140 --> 00:15:09.290
  • so vulnerable and transparent about his struggles.
  • 00:15:10.000 --> 00:15:12.290
  • We did not think this was ever a possibility.
  • 00:15:13.000 --> 00:15:15.160
  • And unfortunately, the next day
  • 00:15:15.170 --> 00:15:17.190
  • he passed away.
  • 00:15:17.200 --> 00:15:19.140
  • Bobby: Had to be an incredible shock.
  • 00:15:19.150 --> 00:15:21.020
  • Had he ever made an attempt before that?
  • 00:15:21.030 --> 00:15:24.090
  • It was the first time that it ever happened.
  • 00:15:24.100 --> 00:15:25.290
  • Kayla: And it was a very fast battle.
  • 00:15:26.000 --> 00:15:28.080
  • He started having panic attacks in the fall of 2017,
  • 00:15:28.090 --> 00:15:31.030
  • and then passed away in August.
  • 00:15:31.040 --> 00:15:33.030
  • It was only ten months that we had with mental illness.
  • 00:15:33.040 --> 00:15:36.040
  • Bobby: So before that there really wasn't much
  • 00:15:36.050 --> 00:15:37.280
  • of a sign at all.
  • 00:15:37.290 --> 00:15:39.040
  • Kayla: No, no.
  • 00:15:39.050 --> 00:15:40.250
  • Bobby: That's interesting.
  • 00:15:40.260 --> 00:15:42.210
  • And a big, big thing for his life too I mean,
  • 00:15:42.220 --> 00:15:44.030
  • like he really was pretty--
  • 00:15:44.040 --> 00:15:45.150
  • you guys were young when you got married.
  • 00:15:45.160 --> 00:15:46.290
  • You were young when you got started in ministry,
  • 00:15:47.000 --> 00:15:48.260
  • and like his dad passed away.
  • 00:15:48.270 --> 00:15:50.100
  • That was probably very traumatic for him as well, I'm sure.
  • 00:15:50.110 --> 00:15:52.110
  • Kayla: Yeah, so his dad, his parents started the church
  • 00:15:52.120 --> 00:15:54.210
  • when he was three years old.
  • 00:15:54.220 --> 00:15:56.100
  • And so, his dad was the lead pastor of the church.
  • 00:15:56.110 --> 00:15:58.080
  • And after we were married for about a year,
  • 00:15:58.090 --> 00:16:00.160
  • his dad was diagnosed with leukemia.
  • 00:16:00.170 --> 00:16:02.160
  • And Andrew was 23 years old and stepped up to the plate
  • 00:16:02.170 --> 00:16:05.240
  • and was helping lead the church.
  • 00:16:05.250 --> 00:16:07.180
  • We have pictures of them in the hospital together with their
  • 00:16:07.190 --> 00:16:09.100
  • laptops open, planning message series, booking guest speakers.
  • 00:16:09.110 --> 00:16:12.290
  • And his dad battled for four years and then he passed away
  • 00:16:13.000 --> 00:16:15.160
  • in 2015, and Andrew just kept leading strong and never
  • 00:16:15.170 --> 00:16:18.090
  • really took a break to take care of himself.
  • 00:16:18.100 --> 00:16:20.230
  • Bobby: So, just after his dad died,
  • 00:16:20.240 --> 00:16:22.260
  • it was four years watching his dad degenerate.
  • 00:16:22.270 --> 00:16:24.180
  • It's just a traumatic experience.
  • 00:16:24.190 --> 00:16:26.110
  • It's interesting, I didn't understand it was such
  • 00:16:26.120 --> 00:16:28.030
  • a brief period of struggle with mental illness.
  • 00:16:28.040 --> 00:16:31.140
  • And that's a good reminder to a lot of us is that really nobody
  • 00:16:31.150 --> 00:16:35.190
  • is impervious to mental illness at some point in their life
  • 00:16:35.200 --> 00:16:39.110
  • with depression, anxiety.
  • 00:16:39.120 --> 00:16:41.010
  • It's actually a very normal thing to experience
  • 00:16:41.020 --> 00:16:42.240
  • even though it's difficult.
  • 00:16:42.250 --> 00:16:44.280
  • Like cancer or something like that, it's common,
  • 00:16:44.290 --> 00:16:47.100
  • but, you know, dangerous.
  • 00:16:47.110 --> 00:16:49.130
  • Anyway, how did your family and your church cope with--
  • 00:16:49.140 --> 00:16:52.240
  • I mean, it's a big church.
  • 00:16:52.250 --> 00:16:54.120
  • Isn't it like 4.000 people?
  • 00:16:54.130 --> 00:16:56.000
  • And so, all of a sudden, your family, you're like thrust
  • 00:16:56.010 --> 00:16:58.080
  • into the spotlight, and yet you're grieving.
  • 00:16:58.090 --> 00:17:02.130
  • Kayla: Yeah, our story spread like wildfire.
  • 00:17:02.140 --> 00:17:04.170
  • It went viral.
  • 00:17:04.180 --> 00:17:06.100
  • This young, good-looking guy with three little boys
  • 00:17:06.110 --> 00:17:08.070
  • at the time.
  • 00:17:08.080 --> 00:17:09.190
  • At the time, they were five, four and two.
  • 00:17:09.200 --> 00:17:11.290
  • So, our picture and our story was all over the place.
  • 00:17:12.000 --> 00:17:14.220
  • And you know what?
  • 00:17:14.230 --> 00:17:16.100
  • God's used it for good in so many ways.
  • 00:17:16.110 --> 00:17:18.220
  • And because we've been so open, and we've said the word
  • 00:17:18.230 --> 00:17:21.050
  • "suicide," and we've shared his story so publicly,
  • 00:17:21.060 --> 00:17:23.290
  • God's really used it to save a lot of lives.
  • 00:17:24.000 --> 00:17:26.200
  • I just got a message last night, another message from somebody.
  • 00:17:26.210 --> 00:17:28.260
  • I get messages every day almost from people that say,
  • 00:17:28.270 --> 00:17:32.040
  • "Thank you so much, you've saved my life."
  • 00:17:32.050 --> 00:17:34.120
  • Bobby: Well, I even really enjoyed your Instagram too
  • 00:17:34.130 --> 00:17:36.140
  • because you have a big heart for pastors, and you talk about
  • 00:17:36.150 --> 00:17:39.150
  • the struggle that pastors go through that you even,
  • 00:17:39.160 --> 00:17:41.250
  • you know, saw in Andrew.
  • 00:17:41.260 --> 00:17:43.250
  • And I think it's ministering to a lot of people
  • 00:17:43.260 --> 00:17:46.040
  • who are missionaries, pastors, evangelists, things like that.
  • 00:17:46.050 --> 00:17:49.120
  • That's a danger, isn't it?
  • 00:17:49.130 --> 00:17:51.020
  • That along with all the pressure that people in leadership
  • 00:17:51.030 --> 00:17:53.270
  • in general feel in the church, there is sort of the stigma
  • 00:17:53.280 --> 00:17:58.050
  • about, for example, taking medication for depression,
  • 00:17:58.060 --> 00:18:02.030
  • or things like that.
  • 00:18:02.040 --> 00:18:03.270
  • Is that--that's a thing that needs--
  • 00:18:03.280 --> 00:18:05.220
  • that's a big issue, don't you think?
  • 00:18:05.230 --> 00:18:07.090
  • Kayla: Yeah, you know what? Pastors aren't superhuman.
  • 00:18:07.100 --> 00:18:09.060
  • They're human, and pastors struggle with physical illness
  • 00:18:09.070 --> 00:18:11.210
  • like everybody else struggles with physical illness.
  • 00:18:11.220 --> 00:18:14.150
  • And that's what mental illness is, it's a physical illness.
  • 00:18:14.160 --> 00:18:17.080
  • It's not a choice.
  • 00:18:17.090 --> 00:18:19.000
  • It's not the byproduct of not having enough faith.
  • 00:18:19.010 --> 00:18:20.290
  • It's not because you're not praying enough
  • 00:18:21.000 --> 00:18:22.260
  • or spending enough time in the Bible.
  • 00:18:22.270 --> 00:18:24.160
  • I think sometimes we, as Christians, can over
  • 00:18:24.170 --> 00:18:26.170
  • spiritualize mental illness, and it's actually
  • 00:18:26.180 --> 00:18:29.020
  • a real physical illness.
  • 00:18:29.030 --> 00:18:30.210
  • Our brain actually gets sick.
  • 00:18:30.220 --> 00:18:32.100
  • Andrew was healthy, and then he got sick.
  • 00:18:32.110 --> 00:18:34.180
  • And so, I think just better understanding that and saying
  • 00:18:34.190 --> 00:18:37.040
  • it's okay, you know, if you need medicine to help heal your
  • 00:18:37.050 --> 00:18:39.220
  • brain, and it's okay if you need to take a break and rest
  • 00:18:39.230 --> 00:18:42.090
  • and seek that time by yourself.
  • 00:18:42.100 --> 00:18:44.170
  • Bobby: I went to Oral Roberts University,
  • 00:18:44.180 --> 00:18:46.120
  • and they were obviously in the Oral Roberts tradition,
  • 00:18:46.130 --> 00:18:48.220
  • you know, we're Presbyterian, but I have this background
  • 00:18:48.230 --> 00:18:51.030
  • where there's, I love the faith aspect of having
  • 00:18:51.040 --> 00:18:54.130
  • this Jewish faith where you just plead with God
  • 00:18:54.140 --> 00:18:57.220
  • and you don't pray the like, "Whatever be thy will."
  • 00:18:57.230 --> 00:18:59.240
  • It's like, "God, I need healing,"
  • 00:18:59.250 --> 00:19:01.220
  • and I love that aspect of it.
  • 00:19:01.230 --> 00:19:03.050
  • Sometimes, I think, in some of these traditions,
  • 00:19:03.060 --> 00:19:05.270
  • it's like you said that nobody would say
  • 00:19:05.280 --> 00:19:09.070
  • it's because you don't have enough faith,
  • 00:19:09.080 --> 00:19:10.220
  • but they can certainly feel that way,
  • 00:19:10.230 --> 00:19:12.130
  • and everybody can feel that way.
  • 00:19:12.140 --> 00:19:14.020
  • Like, why wouldn't God just take this away?
  • 00:19:14.030 --> 00:19:16.290
  • And yet, we live in a world that's struggling more
  • 00:19:17.000 --> 00:19:19.050
  • and more with anxiety.
  • 00:19:19.060 --> 00:19:20.210
  • A lot of it has to do with technology
  • 00:19:20.220 --> 00:19:22.030
  • and all the screens we're looking at.
  • 00:19:22.040 --> 00:19:23.170
  • All this stuff is impacting us.
  • 00:19:23.180 --> 00:19:25.040
  • And God has blessed us, I think, with some of these medications,
  • 00:19:25.050 --> 00:19:28.260
  • with therapists, with people that can come into our life
  • 00:19:28.270 --> 00:19:32.040
  • that have studied.
  • 00:19:32.050 --> 00:19:33.240
  • It's a medical thing, right, I mean, this is the thing
  • 00:19:33.250 --> 00:19:35.200
  • that the world needs to hear.
  • 00:19:35.210 --> 00:19:37.020
  • Kayla: It's not black and white, it's so gray and there's
  • 00:19:37.030 --> 00:19:38.230
  • not a one-size-fits-all answer for mental health.
  • 00:19:38.240 --> 00:19:41.030
  • It's different for every person in their own journey,
  • 00:19:41.040 --> 00:19:43.060
  • so we can't be critical of people and what works for them.
  • 00:19:43.070 --> 00:19:47.150
  • Bobby: Is there anything you would say to people
  • 00:19:47.160 --> 00:19:49.160
  • in the church in general today about this issue
  • 00:19:49.170 --> 00:19:52.120
  • that you think is like the one thing you'd want them to hear?
  • 00:19:52.130 --> 00:19:56.060
  • Kayla: Just that mental health doesn't disqualify
  • 00:19:56.070 --> 00:19:58.250
  • anybody from ministry, that mental health is not, you know,
  • 00:19:58.260 --> 00:20:01.240
  • mental illness is not a choice, that it's okay to get help
  • 00:20:01.250 --> 00:20:05.190
  • and that it's okay to talk about it.
  • 00:20:05.200 --> 00:20:07.130
  • Like, the more we talk about it, the more people that are hiding
  • 00:20:07.140 --> 00:20:09.180
  • out in the dark struggling will step into the light
  • 00:20:09.190 --> 00:20:12.030
  • and get help.
  • 00:20:12.040 --> 00:20:13.190
  • Bobby: Yeah, that's right.
  • 00:20:13.200 --> 00:20:15.000
  • Well, Kayla, thank you so much for doing this
  • 00:20:15.010 --> 00:20:16.180
  • and for bringing awareness to this issue.
  • 00:20:16.190 --> 00:20:18.210
  • It's a growing thing in our country, in our world.
  • 00:20:18.220 --> 00:20:22.160
  • And I just so appreciate that you're helping take away
  • 00:20:22.170 --> 00:20:25.150
  • a lot of the shame, I think, that people feel
  • 00:20:25.160 --> 00:20:28.020
  • about mental illness.
  • 00:20:28.030 --> 00:20:29.220
  • I think you're making a big impact using a tragic story
  • 00:20:29.230 --> 00:20:32.110
  • to show people that don't have to, you know,
  • 00:20:32.120 --> 00:20:36.000
  • they don't have to fall into this trap.
  • 00:20:36.010 --> 00:20:38.010
  • And so, we just want to say thank you.
  • 00:20:38.020 --> 00:20:39.290
  • We're so--we think you're so brave.
  • 00:20:40.000 --> 00:20:41.180
  • Actually, just a little gift that we want
  • 00:20:41.190 --> 00:20:43.010
  • to say thank you for.
  • 00:20:43.020 --> 00:20:44.150
  • It's for your Christmas tree. It's an angel.
  • 00:20:44.160 --> 00:20:46.000
  • Just to say thank you for all you're doing, we just wanted
  • 00:20:46.010 --> 00:20:47.260
  • to give this to you to remind you of us.
  • 00:20:47.270 --> 00:20:49.160
  • Kayla: Thank you so much, Bobby.
  • 00:20:49.170 --> 00:20:51.040
  • Bobby: God bless you. Thank you, Kayla.
  • 00:20:51.050 --> 00:20:52.290
  • [congregation applauding]
  • 00:20:53.000 --> 00:20:57.080
  • 00:20:58.040 --> 00:21:11.170
  • He's my rock, my sword, my shield
  • 00:21:11.180 --> 00:21:14.250
  • He's my wheel in the middle of the wheel
  • 00:21:14.260 --> 00:21:18.170
  • He's the lily of the valley
  • 00:21:18.180 --> 00:21:21.210
  • He's the bright and morning star
  • 00:21:21.220 --> 00:21:24.220
  • Makes no difference what you say
  • 00:21:24.230 --> 00:21:27.270
  • I'm going on my knees and pray
  • 00:21:27.280 --> 00:21:31.170
  • I'm gonna wait right here for Jesus
  • 00:21:31.180 --> 00:21:34.140
  • Till he comes
  • 00:21:34.150 --> 00:21:37.250
  • 'Cause Jesus is mine
  • 00:21:37.260 --> 00:21:40.190
  • I am forgiven
  • 00:21:40.200 --> 00:21:43.260
  • I'm holding his hand
  • 00:21:43.270 --> 00:21:47.070
  • I'm going to heaven
  • 00:21:47.080 --> 00:21:51.060
  • 'Cause I found a wonderful savior
  • 00:21:51.070 --> 00:21:54.150
  • Who blesses me forever
  • 00:21:54.160 --> 00:21:57.230
  • I'm his and thank God He is mine
  • 00:21:57.240 --> 00:22:02.230
  • He's my rock, my sword, my shield
  • 00:22:04.020 --> 00:22:07.090
  • He's my wheel in the middle of the wheel
  • 00:22:07.100 --> 00:22:10.260
  • He's the lily of the valley
  • 00:22:10.270 --> 00:22:14.000
  • He's the bright and morning star
  • 00:22:14.010 --> 00:22:17.030
  • Makes no difference what you say
  • 00:22:17.040 --> 00:22:20.070
  • I'm going on my knees and pray
  • 00:22:20.080 --> 00:22:23.280
  • I'm gonna wait right here for Jesus
  • 00:22:23.290 --> 00:22:26.230
  • Till he comes
  • 00:22:26.240 --> 00:22:30.030
  • 00:22:30.040 --> 00:22:45.020
  • 00:22:45.020 --> 00:22:55.020
  • He's my rock, my sword, my shield
  • 00:22:56.060 --> 00:22:59.130
  • He's my wheel in the middle of the wheel
  • 00:22:59.140 --> 00:23:03.060
  • He's the lily of the valley
  • 00:23:03.070 --> 00:23:06.110
  • He's the bright and morning star
  • 00:23:06.120 --> 00:23:09.140
  • Makes no difference what you say
  • 00:23:09.150 --> 00:23:12.110
  • I'm going on my knees and pray
  • 00:23:12.120 --> 00:23:16.040
  • I'm gonna wait right here for Jesus
  • 00:23:16.050 --> 00:23:19.010
  • Till he comes
  • 00:23:19.020 --> 00:23:22.240
  • I'm gonna wait right here for Jesus
  • 00:23:22.250 --> 00:23:25.250
  • Till he comes
  • 00:23:25.260 --> 00:23:29.220
  • [congregation applauding]
  • 00:23:33.220 --> 00:23:43.100
  • Bruce Cramer: All right, thank you guys so much.
  • 00:23:44.120 --> 00:23:46.100
  • Let's go to Lord in prayer.
  • 00:23:46.110 --> 00:23:48.040
  • Father, we thank you today that we can come
  • 00:23:48.050 --> 00:23:50.240
  • and celebrate the name of Jesus.
  • 00:23:50.250 --> 00:23:53.020
  • God, we recognize your sovereignty over our lives.
  • 00:23:53.030 --> 00:23:57.110
  • We pray, Father, today even as we talk about it, again, angels
  • 00:23:57.120 --> 00:24:00.180
  • and messengers, that, God, we would listen to your message,
  • 00:24:00.190 --> 00:24:04.060
  • that we would listen to your Word, and that, God,
  • 00:24:04.070 --> 00:24:07.110
  • we would be people that are brave and courageous,
  • 00:24:07.120 --> 00:24:10.190
  • such as Kayla, to speak into the truths of life,
  • 00:24:10.200 --> 00:24:13.210
  • to bring encouragement, that we, God,
  • 00:24:13.220 --> 00:24:15.260
  • would be your messengers to the people that are around us
  • 00:24:15.270 --> 00:24:19.060
  • to share the love, and the grace, and the mercy
  • 00:24:19.070 --> 00:24:21.070
  • that only Jesus brings to us.
  • 00:24:21.080 --> 00:24:23.280
  • And so, Father, we ask your blessing not only on this time,
  • 00:24:23.290 --> 00:24:26.180
  • but on our lives, as we try to do exactly that.
  • 00:24:26.190 --> 00:24:30.030
  • And we ask this the powerful name of Jesus.
  • 00:24:30.040 --> 00:24:32.210
  • All God's people said, amen, amen.
  • 00:24:32.220 --> 00:24:36.030
  • Hannah: Bobby and I are so happy
  • 00:24:37.060 --> 00:24:39.040
  • you joined us in worship today.
  • 00:24:39.050 --> 00:24:41.020
  • We hope that you find incredible hope
  • 00:24:41.030 --> 00:24:43.010
  • and inspiration from this program.
  • 00:24:43.020 --> 00:24:44.260
  • Bobby: There's an old saying that goes,
  • 00:24:44.270 --> 00:24:46.150
  • "The only thing to expect is the unexpected."
  • 00:24:46.160 --> 00:24:49.070
  • I always think this is how Mary felt when the Angel Gabriel
  • 00:24:49.080 --> 00:24:51.190
  • appeared and told her she was gonna give birth
  • 00:24:51.200 --> 00:24:53.230
  • to the Son of God.
  • 00:24:53.240 --> 00:24:55.140
  • Although it was really good news,
  • 00:24:55.150 --> 00:24:57.030
  • her future took a very different turn.
  • 00:24:57.040 --> 00:24:58.250
  • Hannah: When the direction of your life suddenly changes,
  • 00:24:58.260 --> 00:25:02.070
  • you can count on the fact that you are not alone.
  • 00:25:02.080 --> 00:25:06.060
  • Jesus is with you, and he always finishes
  • 00:25:06.070 --> 00:25:09.050
  • the good work he starts.
  • 00:25:09.060 --> 00:25:11.100
  • No matter how difficult your situation
  • 00:25:11.110 --> 00:25:13.270
  • or how drastically your course shifts,
  • 00:25:13.280 --> 00:25:16.160
  • he is with you.
  • 00:25:16.170 --> 00:25:18.210
  • Bobby: You are his beloved child,
  • 00:25:18.220 --> 00:25:20.200
  • and he has the best in store for your life.
  • 00:25:20.210 --> 00:25:23.070
  • Today as a reminder of the really good news
  • 00:25:23.080 --> 00:25:25.170
  • that Jesus is with you, we'd love to send you
  • 00:25:25.180 --> 00:25:28.070
  • these holiday-inspired resources.
  • 00:25:28.080 --> 00:25:31.130
  • announcer: As we prepare for the upcoming holiday season,
  • 00:25:31.140 --> 00:25:34.090
  • we are continuing the annual tradition of offering
  • 00:25:34.100 --> 00:25:37.010
  • a unique Christmas ornament to our "Hour of Power"
  • 00:25:37.020 --> 00:25:39.290
  • friends and partners.
  • 00:25:40.000 --> 00:25:42.000
  • Just look at this beautiful
  • 00:25:42.010 --> 00:25:43.220
  • and intricately-crafted angel ornament.
  • 00:25:43.230 --> 00:25:46.020
  • When you hang it on your tree or place it in your home,
  • 00:25:46.030 --> 00:25:49.010
  • you'll be reminded of the promise fulfilled
  • 00:25:49.020 --> 00:25:51.060
  • in Jesus's birth.
  • 00:25:51.070 --> 00:25:53.000
  • We're asking for a generous gift of any size.
  • 00:25:53.010 --> 00:25:56.150
  • For your gift of $60 or more, we'll include our
  • 00:25:56.160 --> 00:25:59.260
  • "O Come Let Us Adore Him" Advent devotional
  • 00:25:59.270 --> 00:26:03.010
  • and activity card set.
  • 00:26:03.020 --> 00:26:05.050
  • Each day of the devotional
  • 00:26:05.060 --> 00:26:06.100
  • offers a short scripture reading,
  • 00:26:06.110 --> 00:26:08.090
  • engaging questions, and beautiful illustrations
  • 00:26:08.100 --> 00:26:11.070
  • and photography.
  • 00:26:11.080 --> 00:26:12.250
  • In addition, this set of 25 satin-finished cards
  • 00:26:12.260 --> 00:26:16.020
  • features one activity or inspirational thought
  • 00:26:16.030 --> 00:26:18.290
  • to engage your family on each day of the Advent season.
  • 00:26:19.000 --> 00:26:22.190
  • Call, write, or go online today
  • 00:26:22.200 --> 00:26:25.020
  • and request these special resources
  • 00:26:25.030 --> 00:26:27.080
  • designed to encourage you and your loved ones
  • 00:26:27.090 --> 00:26:30.050
  • this holiday season.
  • 00:26:30.060 --> 00:26:32.140
  • Bobby: God is continuing to write the story
  • 00:26:32.150 --> 00:26:34.150
  • of this ministry, and we are counting on him to move
  • 00:26:34.160 --> 00:26:37.120
  • in the hearts of our friends who understand
  • 00:26:37.130 --> 00:26:39.290
  • the tremendous value and impact of the "Hour of Power."
  • 00:26:40.000 --> 00:26:43.020
  • Thank you so, so much for your generous financial support
  • 00:26:43.030 --> 00:26:46.270
  • to help keep this program on the air.
  • 00:26:46.280 --> 00:26:48.210
  • Remember as always, God loves you and so do we.
  • 00:26:48.220 --> 00:26:52.090
  • 00:26:53.110 --> 00:27:04.200
  • I wandered so aimless life filed with sin
  • 00:27:04.210 --> 00:27:09.100
  • I wouldn't let my dear savior in
  • 00:27:09.110 --> 00:27:13.120
  • Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night
  • 00:27:13.130 --> 00:27:17.160
  • Praise the Lord, I saw the light
  • 00:27:17.170 --> 00:27:23.020
  • I saw the light, I saw the light
  • 00:27:23.030 --> 00:27:27.080
  • No more darkness, no more night
  • 00:27:27.090 --> 00:27:31.100
  • Now I'm so happy
  • 00:27:31.110 --> 00:27:33.060
  • no sorrow in sight
  • 00:27:33.070 --> 00:27:35.250
  • Praise the Lord, I saw the light
  • 00:27:35.260 --> 00:27:40.170
  • Just like a blind man I wandered along
  • 00:27:43.070 --> 00:27:47.110
  • Worries and fears I claimed for my own
  • 00:27:47.120 --> 00:27:51.170
  • Then like the blind man that God gave back his sight
  • 00:27:51.180 --> 00:27:55.250
  • Praise the Lord, I saw the light
  • 00:27:55.260 --> 00:28:01.110
  • I saw the light, I saw the light
  • 00:28:01.120 --> 00:28:05.180
  • No more darkness, no more night
  • 00:28:05.190 --> 00:28:09.220
  • Now I'm so happy no sorrow in sight
  • 00:28:09.230 --> 00:28:14.070
  • Praise the Lord, I saw the light
  • 00:28:14.080 --> 00:28:19.110
  • 00:28:19.120 --> 00:28:34.100
  • 00:28:34.100 --> 00:28:34.110
  • 00:28:34.110 --> 00:28:37.170
  • I was a fool to wander and stray
  • 00:28:37.180 --> 00:28:41.230
  • Straight is the gate and narrow the way
  • 00:28:41.240 --> 00:28:46.030
  • Now I have traded the wrong for the right
  • 00:28:46.040 --> 00:28:50.110
  • Praise the Lord, I saw the light
  • 00:28:50.120 --> 00:28:55.210
  • I saw the light, I saw the light
  • 00:28:55.220 --> 00:28:59.270
  • No more darkness, no more night
  • 00:28:59.280 --> 00:29:04.090
  • Now I'm so happy no sorrow in sight
  • 00:29:04.100 --> 00:29:08.170
  • Praise the Lord, I saw the light
  • 00:29:08.180 --> 00:29:14.000
  • I saw the light, I saw the light
  • 00:29:14.010 --> 00:29:18.060
  • No more darkness, no more night
  • 00:29:18.070 --> 00:29:22.170
  • Now I'm so happy no sorrow in sight
  • 00:29:22.180 --> 00:29:26.170
  • Praise the Lord, I saw the light
  • 00:29:26.180 --> 00:29:31.210
  • [congregation applauding]
  • 00:29:36.280 --> 00:29:44.280
  • Bobby: Hold your hands out like this as a way
  • 00:29:45.210 --> 00:29:47.120
  • of receiving from the Lord.
  • 00:29:47.130 --> 00:29:50.050
  • Let's say this together. "I'm not what I do.
  • 00:29:50.060 --> 00:29:54.030
  • I'm not what I have.
  • 00:29:54.040 --> 00:29:56.040
  • I'm not what people say about me.
  • 00:29:56.050 --> 00:29:59.060
  • I am the beloved of God.
  • 00:29:59.070 --> 00:30:01.170
  • It's who I am. No one can take it from me.
  • 00:30:01.180 --> 00:30:05.270
  • I don't have to worry. I don't have to hurry.
  • 00:30:05.280 --> 00:30:10.030
  • I can trust my friend Jesus and share his love with the world."
  • 00:30:10.040 --> 00:30:14.280
  • Thank you, you can be seated.
  • 00:30:14.290 --> 00:30:19.100
  • Today we're gonna talk about the second part of our Angel series,
  • 00:30:19.110 --> 00:30:22.160
  • not something I've done before, where we look at angels
  • 00:30:22.170 --> 00:30:26.070
  • in the Word of God and how they impact people's lives.
  • 00:30:26.080 --> 00:30:29.220
  • But we're doing it now because I think it's important to
  • 00:30:29.230 --> 00:30:33.100
  • understand angels, being God's direct involvement in someone's
  • 00:30:33.110 --> 00:30:39.000
  • life where he really breaks what we think of as the rules
  • 00:30:39.010 --> 00:30:43.120
  • of nature, natural order, to get into your life
  • 00:30:43.130 --> 00:30:47.200
  • or to get into people's lives.
  • 00:30:47.210 --> 00:30:49.180
  • Many of us have angel stories we would tell one another ways in
  • 00:30:49.190 --> 00:30:53.150
  • which God moved in our life miraculously, or had a vision,
  • 00:30:53.160 --> 00:30:58.010
  • or saw something, or heard something.
  • 00:30:58.020 --> 00:31:00.070
  • Today we're gonna talk about another famous one and that's
  • 00:31:00.080 --> 00:31:02.140
  • the angel story with Balaam's ass, which saying that in church
  • 00:31:02.150 --> 00:31:06.240
  • now I should probably say Balaam's donkey.
  • 00:31:06.250 --> 00:31:09.070
  • I've always heard it Balaam's ass my whole life, but we're
  • 00:31:09.080 --> 00:31:12.120
  • gonna say Balaam's donkey.
  • 00:31:12.130 --> 00:31:15.090
  • Maybe you have a donkey in your life.
  • 00:31:15.100 --> 00:31:21.220
  • And we're gonna talk about the donkeys that God puts in our
  • 00:31:21.230 --> 00:31:25.110
  • lives, that we get angry at, that offend our egos, that
  • 00:31:25.120 --> 00:31:31.060
  • actually might be sent there to save our lives and how often we
  • 00:31:31.070 --> 00:31:36.110
  • try and lash out at or feel angry at people who love us
  • 00:31:36.120 --> 00:31:41.230
  • and are trying to help us.
  • 00:31:41.240 --> 00:31:44.060
  • And today, I want to encourage you that God has put people in
  • 00:31:44.070 --> 00:31:48.030
  • your life that annoy you that are supposed to be there.
  • 00:31:48.040 --> 00:31:52.050
  • Very often, it's the people who are closest with, the people you
  • 00:31:52.060 --> 00:31:55.100
  • love the most, your family members, are almost always gonna
  • 00:31:55.110 --> 00:31:59.080
  • be the ones who also annoy you the most.
  • 00:31:59.090 --> 00:32:02.220
  • And although we need to have boundaries and be okay
  • 00:32:02.230 --> 00:32:05.070
  • saying no, we also have to be careful to make sure
  • 00:32:05.080 --> 00:32:09.020
  • that our egos are in check.
  • 00:32:09.030 --> 00:32:11.240
  • If you hear anything I say today, I want you to hear this,
  • 00:32:11.250 --> 00:32:14.240
  • go easy on people.
  • 00:32:14.250 --> 00:32:17.090
  • We live in a world where you never know what someone's
  • 00:32:17.100 --> 00:32:20.120
  • gone through, even your enemies.
  • 00:32:20.130 --> 00:32:22.290
  • People have all sorts of challenges, losses, and things
  • 00:32:23.000 --> 00:32:25.240
  • they're facing and most people respond by simply bottling it up
  • 00:32:25.250 --> 00:32:29.110
  • and putting up a shield.
  • 00:32:29.120 --> 00:32:31.190
  • But the soul, you know, is rather fragile.
  • 00:32:31.200 --> 00:32:33.240
  • It's tender.
  • 00:32:33.250 --> 00:32:35.260
  • And very often the people who seem the toughest and the
  • 00:32:35.270 --> 00:32:38.060
  • strongest are the ones who are the most, the most fragile.
  • 00:32:38.070 --> 00:32:43.280
  • And so, we should be careful as believers to understand that
  • 00:32:43.290 --> 00:32:47.130
  • although you are God's beloved son or God's beloved daughter,
  • 00:32:47.140 --> 00:32:50.210
  • they are too.
  • 00:32:50.220 --> 00:32:53.150
  • And then very often, the people we want to lash out at who
  • 00:32:53.160 --> 00:32:56.080
  • seemed to be getting in our way very often are there to help us.
  • 00:32:56.090 --> 00:33:00.120
  • Even our enemies sometimes they're part of God's plan
  • 00:33:00.130 --> 00:33:03.050
  • to help us.
  • 00:33:03.060 --> 00:33:05.050
  • You may not see it now, but many of us have stories in which we
  • 00:33:05.060 --> 00:33:07.150
  • realize that the enemies, and the barriers, or the things
  • 00:33:07.160 --> 00:33:10.270
  • that were put in our way, were probably put there by God,
  • 00:33:10.280 --> 00:33:13.240
  • not always, but sometimes.
  • 00:33:13.250 --> 00:33:16.070
  • And we look back and realize how those things helped us.
  • 00:33:16.080 --> 00:33:20.110
  • I still remember when Hannah and I started ministry,
  • 00:33:20.120 --> 00:33:23.290
  • there were--and we went from a small church to here
  • 00:33:24.000 --> 00:33:27.160
  • with the "Hour of Power."
  • 00:33:27.170 --> 00:33:29.290
  • And getting online for a while was a very difficult thing to do
  • 00:33:30.000 --> 00:33:33.010
  • because of all of the criticism and personal attacks
  • 00:33:33.020 --> 00:33:35.290
  • that we received.
  • 00:33:36.000 --> 00:33:38.010
  • I remember there was a whole website that seemed devoted
  • 00:33:38.020 --> 00:33:40.160
  • to just criticizing me, or at the time, John Charles,
  • 00:33:40.170 --> 00:33:44.210
  • or, you know, everybody, and you get on
  • 00:33:44.220 --> 00:33:47.080
  • and all this stuff was made up.
  • 00:33:47.090 --> 00:33:49.160
  • It'd be stuff about my wife, stuff about my children, stuff
  • 00:33:49.170 --> 00:33:52.010
  • about my parents, and my grandparents that was utterly,
  • 00:33:52.020 --> 00:33:56.030
  • you know, hurtful and painful, and all of this stuff.
  • 00:33:56.040 --> 00:33:59.160
  • But then I regret recognized now, I remember the breakthrough
  • 00:33:59.170 --> 00:34:03.050
  • was this, when I was starting to, Hannah and I were
  • 00:34:03.060 --> 00:34:05.270
  • just getting frustrated with it, I realized, I felt like the Lord
  • 00:34:05.280 --> 00:34:08.070
  • said to me, "If you can't handle this, you can't handle
  • 00:34:08.080 --> 00:34:10.170
  • a bigger platform."
  • 00:34:10.180 --> 00:34:13.000
  • And I remember learning that looking back, although that was,
  • 00:34:13.010 --> 00:34:16.250
  • in my opinion, wrong, and evil, and it was inappropriate, that
  • 00:34:16.260 --> 00:34:22.190
  • through the loving friendships and relationships in our life,
  • 00:34:22.200 --> 00:34:26.140
  • God was able to use that to make us a little tougher skinned
  • 00:34:26.150 --> 00:34:30.260
  • and to make us more prepared to lead in the right direction,
  • 00:34:30.270 --> 00:34:36.110
  • even when people didn't always approve of it.
  • 00:34:36.120 --> 00:34:39.110
  • And that's something leaders need to have, amen?
  • 00:34:39.120 --> 00:34:42.080
  • And so, we oftentimes, that's just one case in my life,
  • 00:34:42.090 --> 00:34:46.010
  • but you might not realize that there are enemies in your life
  • 00:34:46.020 --> 00:34:50.150
  • that are really there because they're gonna help you become
  • 00:34:50.160 --> 00:34:54.000
  • the person you need to be to fulfill what God
  • 00:34:54.010 --> 00:34:56.150
  • has called you to do.
  • 00:34:56.160 --> 00:34:58.230
  • But more likely than that, it's your spouse if you're married.
  • 00:34:58.240 --> 00:35:03.270
  • It's your kids. It's your best friend.
  • 00:35:03.280 --> 00:35:06.190
  • It's your roommate. It's your boyfriend.
  • 00:35:06.200 --> 00:35:08.190
  • It's your girlfriend.
  • 00:35:08.200 --> 00:35:10.240
  • Very often the people we're closest to have these moments
  • 00:35:10.250 --> 00:35:14.220
  • where sometimes tenderly and sometimes very directly,
  • 00:35:14.230 --> 00:35:18.020
  • they're trying to help us either be better relationally
  • 00:35:18.030 --> 00:35:24.200
  • or be better morally, and we get offended.
  • 00:35:24.210 --> 00:35:28.160
  • Our ego gets in the way. We can't think straight.
  • 00:35:28.170 --> 00:35:31.290
  • I want to encourage you today, let God use the people in your
  • 00:35:32.000 --> 00:35:35.280
  • life to make a difference in your life and let it be the kind
  • 00:35:35.290 --> 00:35:40.210
  • of thing that can shape you into proper discipleship.
  • 00:35:40.220 --> 00:35:45.280
  • Okay, so today we're talking about Balaam's donkey, Balaam's
  • 00:35:45.290 --> 00:35:50.180
  • donkey, and we're talking about the donkeys that God
  • 00:35:50.190 --> 00:35:53.050
  • has put in our lives.
  • 00:35:53.060 --> 00:35:55.070
  • If you're hearing double entendre, it's there.
  • 00:35:55.080 --> 00:35:57.280
  • All right, okay, and I hope this--you know, it's interesting
  • 00:35:57.290 --> 00:36:01.070
  • because when I started in ministry, Balaam's donkey
  • 00:36:01.080 --> 00:36:03.170
  • was an encouragement for me
  • 00:36:03.180 --> 00:36:05.150
  • because I remember I used to be so nervous.
  • 00:36:05.160 --> 00:36:07.200
  • Even when we were college pastors, I would preach to small
  • 00:36:07.210 --> 00:36:09.240
  • group of 25 or 30 people, have to move things around
  • 00:36:09.250 --> 00:36:13.140
  • to like help my heart rate get down.
  • 00:36:13.150 --> 00:36:15.210
  • And I used to feel like I was so unqualified to speak.
  • 00:36:15.220 --> 00:36:18.040
  • And I remember I would pray and I would say, this is my real
  • 00:36:18.050 --> 00:36:20.190
  • prayer, "God, if you can speak through a donkey,
  • 00:36:20.200 --> 00:36:23.290
  • you can speak through me."
  • 00:36:24.000 --> 00:36:28.040
  • I think the Lord honored that prayer.
  • 00:36:28.050 --> 00:36:30.080
  • Okay, so, Balaam's donkey and Balaam are the ultimate
  • 00:36:30.090 --> 00:36:35.190
  • culmination of this big awesome story in everyone's
  • 00:36:35.200 --> 00:36:39.280
  • favorite Bible book, the Book of Numbers.
  • 00:36:39.290 --> 00:36:45.260
  • Numbers is actually an awesome book that a lot of people avoid
  • 00:36:45.270 --> 00:36:49.160
  • because the name itself makes it sound so boring.
  • 00:36:49.170 --> 00:36:55.260
  • In Hebrew, the word is "bemidbar,"
  • 00:36:55.270 --> 00:36:59.150
  • which means into the wilderness.
  • 00:36:59.160 --> 00:37:01.250
  • That sounds like a much better name for a book, doesn't it?
  • 00:37:01.260 --> 00:37:04.000
  • I think that is a book, into the wilderness, and it begins with
  • 00:37:04.010 --> 00:37:09.220
  • Moses and the people of God taking a census of who is left
  • 00:37:09.230 --> 00:37:14.220
  • over in their group.
  • 00:37:14.230 --> 00:37:16.220
  • That's where we get the name Numbers.
  • 00:37:16.230 --> 00:37:18.240
  • Begins at Mount Sinai, and the people have been at Sinai
  • 00:37:18.250 --> 00:37:21.140
  • for a year.
  • 00:37:21.150 --> 00:37:23.150
  • They've just left Egypt.
  • 00:37:23.160 --> 00:37:25.160
  • And the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land should
  • 00:37:25.170 --> 00:37:28.000
  • take two weeks, but it ends up taking, anybody know?
  • 00:37:28.010 --> 00:37:31.170
  • How long?
  • 00:37:31.180 --> 00:37:33.240
  • Forty years with a four.
  • 00:37:33.250 --> 00:37:35.190
  • I heard a 30.
  • 00:37:35.200 --> 00:37:37.140
  • Forty years, if only it was 30.
  • 00:37:37.150 --> 00:37:39.170
  • No, 40 years, and it sort of culminates at Sinai
  • 00:37:39.180 --> 00:37:42.170
  • where God speaks to his people.
  • 00:37:42.180 --> 00:37:44.160
  • They create this tabernacle.
  • 00:37:44.170 --> 00:37:46.180
  • All this drama, death, and swords, and fire, and clouds,
  • 00:37:46.190 --> 00:37:50.110
  • and lightning, and law, and all this stuff.
  • 00:37:50.120 --> 00:37:53.110
  • And so, after a year, they gather, they take a census,
  • 00:37:53.120 --> 00:37:56.260
  • they form a shape of their people
  • 00:37:56.270 --> 00:37:59.200
  • with the Ark of the Covenant in the middle,
  • 00:37:59.210 --> 00:38:02.080
  • followed by the Levites, then the tribe of Judah,
  • 00:38:02.090 --> 00:38:04.150
  • then other tribes.
  • 00:38:04.160 --> 00:38:06.070
  • It actually forms an image that looks eerily like a cross,
  • 00:38:06.080 --> 00:38:08.050
  • believe it or not.
  • 00:38:08.060 --> 00:38:10.080
  • And then they begin to move because this cloud that comes
  • 00:38:10.090 --> 00:38:14.050
  • out of the Tent of Meeting, and out of the, the Ark of the
  • 00:38:14.060 --> 00:38:18.070
  • Covenant, which is God's throne, this cloud begins to move.
  • 00:38:18.080 --> 00:38:22.070
  • And this is what they've been waiting for,
  • 00:38:22.080 --> 00:38:24.100
  • for this cloud to move.
  • 00:38:24.110 --> 00:38:26.100
  • That means God is finally gonna bring them to the land of milk
  • 00:38:26.110 --> 00:38:28.220
  • and honey, and they should be excited, shouldn't they?
  • 00:38:28.230 --> 00:38:32.200
  • They're not. Sorry, Jim.
  • 00:38:32.210 --> 00:38:35.290
  • They're not excited. They should be.
  • 00:38:36.000 --> 00:38:38.270
  • And they begin to walk along, and day three,
  • 00:38:38.280 --> 00:38:42.190
  • they start to form a coup.
  • 00:38:42.200 --> 00:38:44.190
  • They're grumpy, they're hot, they're angry, they're thirsty.
  • 00:38:44.200 --> 00:38:48.270
  • It reminds me of like when I go to Disneyland with my kids,
  • 00:38:48.280 --> 00:38:53.090
  • and it's like two o'clock in the afternoon,
  • 00:38:53.100 --> 00:38:55.190
  • and it's 100 degrees outside, and the pavement is sticky.
  • 00:38:55.200 --> 00:39:00.110
  • And they're just like, "I don't want to."
  • 00:39:00.120 --> 00:39:03.160
  • "You don't want to what, you want to go home?"
  • 00:39:03.170 --> 00:39:05.130
  • "No."
  • 00:39:05.140 --> 00:39:07.160
  • "Pirates of the Caribbean is right there.
  • 00:39:07.170 --> 00:39:09.150
  • There's air conditioning."
  • 00:39:09.160 --> 00:39:11.050
  • "I don't want that."
  • 00:39:11.060 --> 00:39:13.020
  • This is how God's people were just all day every day.
  • 00:39:13.030 --> 00:39:18.010
  • He's trying to get the Pirates of the Caribbean,
  • 00:39:18.020 --> 00:39:22.150
  • and they won't go, marching along.
  • 00:39:22.160 --> 00:39:25.280
  • In all seriousness, the first major event, there is a coup
  • 00:39:25.290 --> 00:39:31.000
  • where Aaron, who is Moses's brother and his sister,
  • 00:39:31.010 --> 00:39:35.120
  • openly begin to chastise Moses.
  • 00:39:35.130 --> 00:39:38.220
  • And then there's this famous story about the spies,
  • 00:39:38.230 --> 00:39:41.170
  • the 12 spies that go look in the Promised Land and two said
  • 00:39:41.180 --> 00:39:46.070
  • that it's, you know, land flowing with milk and honey,
  • 00:39:46.080 --> 00:39:48.140
  • but the other ten said, "There's no way we can do it."
  • 00:39:48.150 --> 00:39:50.170
  • And then there's another coup that begins to brew,
  • 00:39:50.180 --> 00:39:53.040
  • and there's a story of snakes and people grumbling.
  • 00:39:53.050 --> 00:39:55.240
  • This is where Moses hits the rock, and he can't go
  • 00:39:55.250 --> 00:39:58.290
  • into the Promised Land.
  • 00:39:59.000 --> 00:40:00.210
  • All these things, stories, it's amazing.
  • 00:40:00.220 --> 00:40:02.140
  • And what you just see through Numbers until you get to the end
  • 00:40:02.150 --> 00:40:05.040
  • is just a stiff-necked, grumbling, angry people.
  • 00:40:05.050 --> 00:40:12.190
  • Till they finally get to the other side of the Jordan,
  • 00:40:12.200 --> 00:40:15.260
  • they're this close to entering the Promised Land and there's
  • 00:40:15.270 --> 00:40:19.140
  • just this sea of people and they're all camped there.
  • 00:40:19.150 --> 00:40:23.090
  • And the king of Moab, because they're in the plains of Moab,
  • 00:40:23.100 --> 00:40:26.220
  • stands on a hill and he looks down and the Bible says he looks
  • 00:40:26.230 --> 00:40:31.160
  • at the mass of people, and he's filled with utter dread.
  • 00:40:31.170 --> 00:40:38.060
  • He says, "These people will lick up my land like
  • 00:40:38.070 --> 00:40:42.050
  • a cattle licks up pasture."
  • 00:40:42.060 --> 00:40:45.210
  • And he says, "I know what I'm gonna do.
  • 00:40:45.220 --> 00:40:48.030
  • I'm gonna reach out to the great sorcerer, Balaam."
  • 00:40:48.040 --> 00:40:53.000
  • So, he sends an entourage of men to Mesopotamia,
  • 00:40:53.010 --> 00:40:56.080
  • which is about 500 miles away.
  • 00:40:56.090 --> 00:40:58.080
  • That's a long trip.
  • 00:40:58.090 --> 00:41:00.090
  • So, the people have been camped there for a long time.
  • 00:41:00.100 --> 00:41:02.100
  • They're bickering, they're fighting, they're arguing,
  • 00:41:02.110 --> 00:41:04.120
  • things are not going well.
  • 00:41:04.130 --> 00:41:06.070
  • And this is the king's opportunity to get them somehow.
  • 00:41:06.080 --> 00:41:10.290
  • So he sends for Balaam, his sorcerer, because he says,
  • 00:41:11.000 --> 00:41:13.160
  • "O Balaam, whoever you bless is blessed and whomever
  • 00:41:13.170 --> 00:41:17.260
  • you curse is cursed."
  • 00:41:17.270 --> 00:41:19.200
  • And so, they go to Balaam and they say,
  • 00:41:19.210 --> 00:41:21.280
  • "We want you to come and curse these people."
  • 00:41:21.290 --> 00:41:23.250
  • Balaam says to the entourage, "Spend the night.
  • 00:41:23.260 --> 00:41:26.150
  • I'm gonna talk to the Lord and I'm gonna ask him
  • 00:41:26.160 --> 00:41:29.220
  • if I can do this for you."
  • 00:41:29.230 --> 00:41:32.020
  • He prays and God says to him, "Balaam, no."
  • 00:41:32.030 --> 00:41:34.140
  • Isn't it weird, by the way, that a pagan sorcerer is on a--
  • 00:41:34.150 --> 00:41:37.130
  • like has a personal relationship with God and it's in the Bible?
  • 00:41:37.140 --> 00:41:41.190
  • This is a part of Orthodoxy.
  • 00:41:41.200 --> 00:41:43.240
  • I don't know what to do with it.
  • 00:41:43.250 --> 00:41:46.020
  • Balaam says, "God, I want to curse these people
  • 00:41:46.030 --> 00:41:50.240
  • 'cause it's gonna be some good money."
  • 00:41:50.250 --> 00:41:53.050
  • And God says, "No, you can't do it
  • 00:41:53.060 --> 00:41:56.220
  • because I am in covenant with these people.
  • 00:41:56.230 --> 00:41:59.020
  • I have called them blessed so you must call them blessed."
  • 00:41:59.030 --> 00:42:02.090
  • So, Balaam says okay.
  • 00:42:02.100 --> 00:42:04.090
  • He goes back to the entourage says, "Go home.
  • 00:42:04.100 --> 00:42:06.040
  • I can't do it."
  • 00:42:06.050 --> 00:42:07.210
  • They leave, they go back to the king.
  • 00:42:07.220 --> 00:42:09.110
  • The king says, "No, you don't understand, we need Balaam.
  • 00:42:09.120 --> 00:42:11.080
  • Just offer him whatever he wants."
  • 00:42:11.090 --> 00:42:12.230
  • They go back to Balaam, he sees them again.
  • 00:42:12.240 --> 00:42:14.130
  • He's like, "What do you want?"
  • 00:42:14.140 --> 00:42:15.280
  • They're like, "The king says you can have all the gold
  • 00:42:15.290 --> 00:42:18.250
  • and silver in his house."
  • 00:42:18.260 --> 00:42:22.010
  • And Balaam's like, "Let me just go ask God again one more time.
  • 00:42:22.020 --> 00:42:25.280
  • Let me just make sure."
  • 00:42:25.290 --> 00:42:29.100
  • So, he says, "Wait here, let me pray."
  • 00:42:29.110 --> 00:42:31.150
  • And this is what it says in the Hebrew.
  • 00:42:31.160 --> 00:42:33.180
  • This is the literal translation, "Hey, Lord, are you sure?
  • 00:42:33.190 --> 00:42:36.250
  • They're gonna pay me a lot."
  • 00:42:36.260 --> 00:42:41.070
  • Just kidding, it doesn't actually say that but that's
  • 00:42:41.080 --> 00:42:43.120
  • effectively what he says.
  • 00:42:43.130 --> 00:42:45.070
  • He says to God, "Are you sure you're gonna hold your covenant?
  • 00:42:45.080 --> 00:42:47.050
  • Are you sure you want to bless these people?
  • 00:42:47.060 --> 00:42:49.140
  • 'Cause God, if you could do me a solid here, I'm gonna be driving
  • 00:42:49.150 --> 00:42:54.120
  • a Bentley back to Mesopotamia in my gold plated house.
  • 00:42:54.130 --> 00:42:59.020
  • This is a great opportunity for me."
  • 00:42:59.030 --> 00:43:02.090
  • And so, actually God, in his wrath, tells Balaam to go.
  • 00:43:02.100 --> 00:43:07.010
  • So, Balaam starts to go and God's plan, it's like God is so
  • 00:43:07.020 --> 00:43:13.180
  • offended that Balaam thinks he would go back on his covenant
  • 00:43:13.190 --> 00:43:17.140
  • for money, and not even money for God, it's money for Balaam,
  • 00:43:17.150 --> 00:43:21.110
  • that he sends this angel, sends an angel, probably angel
  • 00:43:21.120 --> 00:43:24.150
  • of death, to stand in the road to cut down Balaam
  • 00:43:24.160 --> 00:43:29.100
  • as soon as he sees him.
  • 00:43:29.110 --> 00:43:31.240
  • So, Balaam gets together with his entourage,
  • 00:43:31.250 --> 00:43:33.260
  • he takes his favorite donkey.
  • 00:43:33.270 --> 00:43:35.220
  • They've been great, they've been a great team forever like Shrek
  • 00:43:35.230 --> 00:43:39.050
  • and Donkey just conquering the world.
  • 00:43:39.060 --> 00:43:42.080
  • By the way, this is where the donkey from Shrek,
  • 00:43:42.090 --> 00:43:45.230
  • this is what it comes from.
  • 00:43:45.240 --> 00:43:48.000
  • Donkey from, the talking donkey is from the Bible.
  • 00:43:48.010 --> 00:43:50.110
  • They're trying, his name is just Donkey.
  • 00:43:50.120 --> 00:43:52.270
  • So, every time I see the story, I'm always hearing Eddie Murphy.
  • 00:43:52.280 --> 00:43:57.120
  • "Shrek, I'm looking down.
  • 00:43:57.130 --> 00:44:00.140
  • We're gonna make waffles. This kind of thing.
  • 00:44:00.150 --> 00:44:03.050
  • Anyway, so he and his best friend, this donkey,
  • 00:44:03.060 --> 00:44:05.170
  • they begin to trot along, you know, and there's the entourage
  • 00:44:05.180 --> 00:44:08.170
  • of wealthy, powerful men behind them.
  • 00:44:08.180 --> 00:44:10.250
  • He's got this business deal and they're trotting along and the
  • 00:44:10.260 --> 00:44:13.160
  • donkey starts to slow down because in the road,
  • 00:44:13.170 --> 00:44:16.130
  • only he can see it, is this terrifying angel
  • 00:44:16.140 --> 00:44:20.280
  • with his sword drawn.
  • 00:44:20.290 --> 00:44:23.140
  • And the donkey's like we're gonna go around
  • 00:44:23.150 --> 00:44:26.140
  • whatever that is."
  • 00:44:26.150 --> 00:44:28.080
  • And so, the donkey, picture this, no one can see it but the
  • 00:44:28.090 --> 00:44:30.130
  • donkey, but the donkey begins to go off the path
  • 00:44:30.140 --> 00:44:33.010
  • into the field and starts trotting, probably scared.
  • 00:44:33.020 --> 00:44:36.090
  • And all of the men who are with him start cracking up and
  • 00:44:36.100 --> 00:44:40.150
  • pointing at Balaam, this great noble sorcerer on a runaway
  • 00:44:40.160 --> 00:44:44.090
  • donkey going hee-haw, hee-haw.
  • 00:44:44.100 --> 00:44:47.100
  • Balaam gets so upset at his donkey,
  • 00:44:47.110 --> 00:44:49.200
  • he gets up and just starts to beat the poor thing.
  • 00:44:49.210 --> 00:44:52.060
  • "You stupid donkey, you're embarrassing me."
  • 00:44:52.070 --> 00:44:54.250
  • And the poor donkey's going like, hee-haw,
  • 00:44:54.260 --> 00:44:57.170
  • hee-haw, hee-haw.
  • 00:44:57.180 --> 00:45:01.140
  • They go along, they avoid danger, little do they know it.
  • 00:45:01.150 --> 00:45:06.090
  • They go along in the second part.
  • 00:45:06.100 --> 00:45:08.050
  • They come to a path with walls and so it's wide enough
  • 00:45:08.060 --> 00:45:10.260
  • to go around, but there's the angel again standing
  • 00:45:10.270 --> 00:45:13.200
  • in the gap ready to cut down Balaam.
  • 00:45:13.210 --> 00:45:15.210
  • And so, his best friend in the world, this donkey, you know,
  • 00:45:15.220 --> 00:45:18.100
  • kind of takes him around.
  • 00:45:18.110 --> 00:45:19.280
  • He's like, "I don't know about this guy."
  • 00:45:19.290 --> 00:45:21.260
  • It takes a long thing and as the donkey, sort of looking at this
  • 00:45:21.270 --> 00:45:24.080
  • angel kind of scared, he rolls Balaam's foot against the wall.
  • 00:45:24.090 --> 00:45:29.150
  • And of course, Balaam, feeling angry and embarrassed,
  • 00:45:29.160 --> 00:45:32.150
  • lets out a shriek of pain and gets off the donkey,
  • 00:45:32.160 --> 00:45:36.140
  • begins to hit him again.
  • 00:45:36.150 --> 00:45:38.030
  • "You stupid donkey."
  • 00:45:38.040 --> 00:45:39.200
  • Poor thing just going hee-haw, hee-haw.
  • 00:45:39.210 --> 00:45:45.020
  • Finally, and so again,
  • 00:45:45.030 --> 00:45:46.180
  • all these men are laughing at him.
  • 00:45:46.190 --> 00:45:48.230
  • Poor Balaam's ego is just eroding and rusting away.
  • 00:45:48.240 --> 00:45:52.160
  • And finally, they get to this third part, it's probably
  • 00:45:52.170 --> 00:45:54.230
  • a mountain pass and this very, very narrow gap.
  • 00:45:54.240 --> 00:45:57.280
  • There's no going around.
  • 00:45:57.290 --> 00:45:59.190
  • The donkey sees this terrifying angel again
  • 00:45:59.200 --> 00:46:02.150
  • and just lays down and won't move.
  • 00:46:02.160 --> 00:46:06.060
  • And Balaam's like, "That's it," just starts beating
  • 00:46:06.070 --> 00:46:08.210
  • the poor animal.
  • 00:46:08.220 --> 00:46:10.170
  • The poor animal's going hee-haw, hee-haw,
  • 00:46:10.180 --> 00:46:13.280
  • "Why are you hitting me?"
  • 00:46:13.290 --> 00:46:19.050
  • And then what's even weirder, so God allows the donkey
  • 00:46:19.060 --> 00:46:21.160
  • to speak and say, "Why are you hitting me?"
  • 00:46:21.170 --> 00:46:26.290
  • And Balaam doesn't go, "Oh, my goodness, my donkey can talk."
  • 00:46:27.000 --> 00:46:30.250
  • He just talks back at him.
  • 00:46:30.260 --> 00:46:34.050
  • And what he said, what's the first thing he says?
  • 00:46:34.060 --> 00:46:36.090
  • He says, "You have made a fool out of me."
  • 00:46:36.100 --> 00:46:40.030
  • Listen to the ego. "You stupid donkey.
  • 00:46:40.040 --> 00:46:44.180
  • You've made me look like a fool, you've embarrassed me."
  • 00:46:44.190 --> 00:46:48.130
  • And then he says, "If I had a sword,
  • 00:46:48.140 --> 00:46:50.280
  • I'd kill you and cut you down."
  • 00:46:50.290 --> 00:46:53.130
  • Listen to the literary device there.
  • 00:46:53.140 --> 00:46:55.190
  • There's literally an angel with a sword ready to cut down Balaam
  • 00:46:55.200 --> 00:47:00.070
  • and he's saying to this innocent animal, remember the Torah
  • 00:47:00.080 --> 00:47:02.240
  • is so full of literature about care for animals
  • 00:47:02.250 --> 00:47:06.030
  • and care for the innocent.
  • 00:47:06.040 --> 00:47:08.070
  • "Why, you stupid donkey.
  • 00:47:08.080 --> 00:47:09.250
  • If I had a sword, I'd cut you down right here
  • 00:47:09.260 --> 00:47:12.010
  • and then the donkey reasons with him.
  • 00:47:12.020 --> 00:47:14.100
  • Says, "But Balaam, have I ever acted like this before?"
  • 00:47:14.110 --> 00:47:19.190
  • And Balaam kind of thinks to himself,
  • 00:47:19.200 --> 00:47:23.060
  • kind of crosses arm says, "No."
  • 00:47:23.070 --> 00:47:27.040
  • And right when he says no, this angel with a sword with death
  • 00:47:27.050 --> 00:47:32.050
  • in his eyes looks right at Balaam and he says,
  • 00:47:32.060 --> 00:47:37.050
  • "Balaam, why are you beating this donkey?
  • 00:47:37.060 --> 00:47:41.070
  • I was gonna cut you down and kill you."
  • 00:47:41.080 --> 00:47:44.220
  • And then he adds, "But I was gonna spare the donkey."
  • 00:47:44.230 --> 00:47:47.250
  • Everybody seems to love this donkey.
  • 00:47:47.260 --> 00:47:51.150
  • Balaam, full of dread and fear, just falls on his knees.
  • 00:47:51.160 --> 00:47:56.170
  • Can you imagine just all of a sudden you see this angel
  • 00:47:56.180 --> 00:47:59.250
  • with a sword.
  • 00:47:59.260 --> 00:48:01.240
  • "I'm so sorry, I have sinned. I've sinned against God."
  • 00:48:01.250 --> 00:48:04.070
  • And goes on and on.
  • 00:48:04.080 --> 00:48:06.040
  • And the angel says, "Keep going."
  • 00:48:06.050 --> 00:48:09.010
  • Now, imagine this for a second.
  • 00:48:09.020 --> 00:48:11.050
  • This is not the first time God told Balaam to go,
  • 00:48:11.060 --> 00:48:14.210
  • it's the second time.
  • 00:48:14.220 --> 00:48:17.030
  • The first time God tells Balaam to go is God's wrath.
  • 00:48:17.040 --> 00:48:22.090
  • He's sending Balaam to go to his certain death.
  • 00:48:22.100 --> 00:48:27.270
  • So, Balaam now hearing go, he can't go back, right, because
  • 00:48:27.280 --> 00:48:32.020
  • that would be disobeying exactly what God told him to do.
  • 00:48:32.030 --> 00:48:35.190
  • But now he doesn't know if he's walking into another angel
  • 00:48:35.200 --> 00:48:40.120
  • with another sword.
  • 00:48:40.130 --> 00:48:42.150
  • In other words, Balaam is full of dread and the fear
  • 00:48:42.160 --> 00:48:45.130
  • of the Lord, which in this case, is a good thing.
  • 00:48:45.140 --> 00:48:48.200
  • His ego and his desire for money, it all evaporates in this
  • 00:48:48.210 --> 00:48:53.130
  • fear that there's some invisible angel somewhere
  • 00:48:53.140 --> 00:48:56.110
  • that's gonna cut him down.
  • 00:48:56.120 --> 00:48:58.240
  • And boy, does he become nice to that donkey.
  • 00:48:58.250 --> 00:49:00.110
  • I tell you as they're walking along he's like,
  • 00:49:00.120 --> 00:49:02.170
  • "Good boy, good donkey, good little donkey.
  • 00:49:02.180 --> 00:49:05.120
  • You see anything?
  • 00:49:05.130 --> 00:49:07.180
  • You see any, you see any angels?
  • 00:49:07.190 --> 00:49:09.190
  • Want a carrot?"
  • 00:49:09.200 --> 00:49:11.270
  • And as they're going along, you know, this thing is happening.
  • 00:49:11.280 --> 00:49:14.130
  • The first lesson that we learn from the Balaam's story is maybe
  • 00:49:14.140 --> 00:49:17.070
  • you have a donkey in your life.
  • 00:49:17.080 --> 00:49:21.120
  • Maybe you have somebody in your life, a friend, spouse,
  • 00:49:21.130 --> 00:49:25.080
  • boyfriend, girlfriend, colleague, a co-worker,
  • 00:49:25.090 --> 00:49:27.240
  • a neighbor who loves you, loves you, and in their attempt
  • 00:49:27.250 --> 00:49:34.020
  • to help you, you see someone who is in the way,
  • 00:49:34.030 --> 00:49:40.000
  • someone who's stopping you from getting where you're going.
  • 00:49:40.010 --> 00:49:43.080
  • They see themselves as someone trying to help you
  • 00:49:43.090 --> 00:49:47.280
  • because they love you.
  • 00:49:47.290 --> 00:49:50.040
  • Very often, our egos get in the way.
  • 00:49:50.050 --> 00:49:52.260
  • We want to win, we want to succeed,
  • 00:49:52.270 --> 00:49:54.200
  • we want to conquer the world.
  • 00:49:54.210 --> 00:49:56.280
  • And then our husband, our wife, our teacher, our mentor,
  • 00:49:56.290 --> 00:50:01.030
  • our best friend, our roommate, tries to help us and instead
  • 00:50:01.040 --> 00:50:06.270
  • of listening, we get offended.
  • 00:50:06.280 --> 00:50:09.190
  • And like Balaam, our ego gets hit and we lash out,
  • 00:50:09.200 --> 00:50:14.070
  • we beat the person, we shut them down, or we stonewall them.
  • 00:50:14.080 --> 00:50:18.280
  • Very often we forget that the donkey was God's--
  • 00:50:18.290 --> 00:50:23.090
  • the sword was God's, but the donkey was God's too.
  • 00:50:23.100 --> 00:50:26.040
  • That was where God's grace was found.
  • 00:50:26.050 --> 00:50:29.180
  • And if Balaam had kept going, he would have died.
  • 00:50:29.190 --> 00:50:33.040
  • God does everything slowly.
  • 00:50:33.050 --> 00:50:35.030
  • You know that, right?
  • 00:50:35.040 --> 00:50:37.070
  • We serve an unhurried joyful God who just sort of knows it will
  • 00:50:37.080 --> 00:50:41.120
  • happen when it needs to happen.
  • 00:50:41.130 --> 00:50:44.160
  • God's joyful unhurriedness, gets compared, I think,
  • 00:50:44.170 --> 00:50:48.030
  • to our very hurried lack of joy, need to win, need to succeed.
  • 00:50:48.040 --> 00:50:54.180
  • And although God has called you to do great things,
  • 00:50:54.190 --> 00:50:57.040
  • and to succeed, and to try and to have victory,
  • 00:50:57.050 --> 00:51:00.140
  • you should do it God's way.
  • 00:51:00.150 --> 00:51:02.250
  • We never know when we're stepping into a trap.
  • 00:51:02.260 --> 00:51:05.090
  • God has put people in our lives that, like this donkey,
  • 00:51:05.100 --> 00:51:09.180
  • are there to bless us.
  • 00:51:09.190 --> 00:51:12.210
  • Maybe you've been the donkey before.
  • 00:51:12.220 --> 00:51:15.020
  • Maybe you've been the mom, the dad, the husband, the wife,
  • 00:51:15.030 --> 00:51:20.060
  • that you're just trying to help the situation and that person
  • 00:51:20.070 --> 00:51:24.240
  • lashes out, gets angry.
  • 00:51:24.250 --> 00:51:27.160
  • But here's what we forget is that all of us are sometimes
  • 00:51:27.170 --> 00:51:30.070
  • Balaam's donkey and all of us are sometimes Balaam.
  • 00:51:30.080 --> 00:51:34.240
  • Many of us who are here this morning are thinking
  • 00:51:34.250 --> 00:51:37.120
  • of someone else who's like Balaam.
  • 00:51:37.130 --> 00:51:41.130
  • We're thinking of our someone who always treats me
  • 00:51:41.140 --> 00:51:44.110
  • like the donkey.
  • 00:51:44.120 --> 00:51:46.190
  • But today I want you to think about and ask the question,
  • 00:51:46.200 --> 00:51:48.230
  • "How have I been like Balaam?
  • 00:51:48.240 --> 00:51:51.240
  • How have I boxed out what God wants me to hear
  • 00:51:51.250 --> 00:51:54.100
  • because I need more money?
  • 00:51:54.110 --> 00:51:56.190
  • Or because I'm afraid, or because I'm driven for success?
  • 00:51:56.200 --> 00:52:00.220
  • And how have I beat the donkeys, and the people, and the friends,
  • 00:52:00.230 --> 00:52:04.070
  • even sometimes the enemies, that God has put in my life
  • 00:52:04.080 --> 00:52:06.180
  • to actually get me back on the right path?"
  • 00:52:06.190 --> 00:52:10.030
  • Okay, well, the story goes on like this, Balaam continues on
  • 00:52:10.040 --> 00:52:14.020
  • full of fear and dread and all he knows is he needs to just say
  • 00:52:14.030 --> 00:52:19.250
  • whatever God wants him to say.
  • 00:52:19.260 --> 00:52:23.150
  • And Balak, the king of Moab, takes Balaam up on a hill
  • 00:52:23.160 --> 00:52:28.040
  • and he says, "Look at the sea of people.
  • 00:52:28.050 --> 00:52:30.210
  • They're gonna destroy us, curse them."
  • 00:52:30.220 --> 00:52:33.240
  • And he says, "I'll just say whatever the Lord
  • 00:52:33.250 --> 00:52:37.050
  • wants me to say."
  • 00:52:37.060 --> 00:52:39.110
  • And he looks down at this group of people and they're all
  • 00:52:39.120 --> 00:52:42.170
  • bickering, and they're sinning, and they're fighting,
  • 00:52:42.180 --> 00:52:46.190
  • and they're rebelling against Moses and against God.
  • 00:52:46.200 --> 00:52:50.020
  • And you know what God tells Balaam to do to those people?
  • 00:52:50.030 --> 00:52:55.040
  • Bless them, and he just blesses them.
  • 00:52:55.050 --> 00:52:58.200
  • "You are blessed.
  • 00:52:58.210 --> 00:53:00.290
  • Blessings, blessings, blessings, blessings."
  • 00:53:01.000 --> 00:53:06.110
  • And Balak says, "What have you done?"
  • 00:53:06.120 --> 00:53:09.280
  • He says, "I've done only what God has told me to do."
  • 00:53:09.290 --> 00:53:14.080
  • Balak gets angry and says,
  • 00:53:14.090 --> 00:53:16.060
  • "Let's try it from a different mountain.
  • 00:53:16.070 --> 00:53:18.010
  • Maybe there God will tell you something else to say."
  • 00:53:18.020 --> 00:53:20.080
  • So, they go to a second mountain and he says, "Curse them.
  • 00:53:20.090 --> 00:53:22.110
  • I'll give you all the money and my ass."
  • 00:53:22.120 --> 00:53:24.260
  • Balaam looks at them, people fighting,
  • 00:53:24.270 --> 00:53:27.170
  • sinning, bickering, and God says this,
  • 00:53:27.180 --> 00:53:31.090
  • "Blessings, blessings, blessings, blessings."
  • 00:53:31.100 --> 00:53:37.120
  • Balak against says, "What have you done?
  • 00:53:37.130 --> 00:53:39.290
  • They're gonna destroy us.
  • 00:53:40.000 --> 00:53:41.260
  • Let me take you to a third mountain."
  • 00:53:41.270 --> 00:53:43.230
  • A third time, this is the best one of all he says, "Blessings,
  • 00:53:43.240 --> 00:53:46.250
  • blessings, blessings," and then prophesies a Messiah.
  • 00:53:46.260 --> 00:53:51.020
  • "Someday, there will be someone who will come from these people
  • 00:53:51.030 --> 00:53:55.250
  • who will rule the world with justice and love," et cetera.
  • 00:53:55.260 --> 00:53:59.130
  • Blessings, blessings, blessings.
  • 00:53:59.140 --> 00:54:01.290
  • Balak says, "That's it, I was gonna pay you all this money.
  • 00:54:02.000 --> 00:54:05.110
  • Get out of here."
  • 00:54:05.120 --> 00:54:07.120
  • And then when does Balaam do?
  • 00:54:07.130 --> 00:54:09.110
  • He looks at the enemies of God's people and he says four curses,
  • 00:54:09.120 --> 00:54:12.080
  • "curses, curses, curses."
  • 00:54:12.090 --> 00:54:16.020
  • See what's amazing about this story is you have
  • 00:54:16.030 --> 00:54:18.280
  • a stiff-necked, sinful, rebellious people that feel like
  • 00:54:18.290 --> 00:54:25.010
  • they're going through hell, and God arranges for someone
  • 00:54:25.020 --> 00:54:31.190
  • to just bless them.
  • 00:54:31.200 --> 00:54:35.230
  • I don't know about you, but that's encouraging to me.
  • 00:54:35.240 --> 00:54:38.190
  • It's encouraging about God's providence.
  • 00:54:38.200 --> 00:54:41.100
  • It's encouraging that the people that we think are enemies,
  • 00:54:41.110 --> 00:54:46.040
  • Balaam was supposed to be an enemy of God's people,
  • 00:54:46.050 --> 00:54:48.190
  • becomes a blessing.
  • 00:54:48.200 --> 00:54:50.260
  • And I want you to leave thinking about this, that your turmoil,
  • 00:54:50.270 --> 00:54:59.000
  • all the difficulties you face, through all of your challenges
  • 00:54:59.010 --> 00:55:03.050
  • and all of your strife, God is sending somebody in your life,
  • 00:55:03.060 --> 00:55:07.070
  • into your life, to bless you.
  • 00:55:07.080 --> 00:55:09.270
  • You may be in turmoil, but God has called someone to bless you.
  • 00:55:09.280 --> 00:55:16.140
  • Don't beat that person, shame that person, or reject
  • 00:55:16.150 --> 00:55:19.160
  • that person if they've come to help you.
  • 00:55:19.170 --> 00:55:23.000
  • And this is the other thing we learn from angels,
  • 00:55:23.010 --> 00:55:25.080
  • we just never, we never understand God's providence.
  • 00:55:25.090 --> 00:55:28.140
  • We just see such, we just see such a tip of the iceberg of
  • 00:55:28.150 --> 00:55:33.170
  • what God is doing in our lives behind the scenes.
  • 00:55:33.180 --> 00:55:37.000
  • Second, people are a part of the providence in your life.
  • 00:55:37.010 --> 00:55:42.130
  • Your wife, your husband, it's a part of God's plan.
  • 00:55:42.140 --> 00:55:45.080
  • Your kids, it's a part of God's plan.
  • 00:55:45.090 --> 00:55:48.060
  • There are a lot of people in your life,
  • 00:55:48.070 --> 00:55:50.150
  • it might be your roommate, it might be your colleague
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  • at work, that God is planning to use those people to help you
  • 00:55:52.130 --> 00:55:56.050
  • even though they annoy you.
  • 00:55:56.060 --> 00:55:58.250
  • Have boundaries, say no, sometimes we have to move on.
  • 00:55:58.260 --> 00:56:03.270
  • But more than anything just hear this, go easy on people.
  • 00:56:03.280 --> 00:56:08.140
  • If you're angry with your donkey, don't beat him.
  • 00:56:08.150 --> 00:56:11.130
  • Ask him what's going on.
  • 00:56:11.140 --> 00:56:15.010
  • Somebody is thinking of their spouse right now.
  • 00:56:15.020 --> 00:56:18.210
  • Be, you know, again, the soul is so tender.
  • 00:56:18.220 --> 00:56:23.000
  • It's so fragile.
  • 00:56:23.010 --> 00:56:25.060
  • It's amazing the pain and suffering we can feel
  • 00:56:25.070 --> 00:56:27.210
  • by reading just something randomly online
  • 00:56:27.220 --> 00:56:30.250
  • from somebody we don't even know.
  • 00:56:30.260 --> 00:56:33.150
  • If we can feel pain in that experience,
  • 00:56:33.160 --> 00:56:36.130
  • how much more from the people in our life
  • 00:56:36.140 --> 00:56:38.270
  • that we love and respect?
  • 00:56:38.280 --> 00:56:41.070
  • So, more than anything, go easy on people.
  • 00:56:41.080 --> 00:56:44.030
  • Jesus told us to love our near dweller, to have compassion on
  • 00:56:44.040 --> 00:56:48.240
  • them, to even have love for our enemies, love for the Samaritan.
  • 00:56:48.250 --> 00:56:53.280
  • Anybody that's in your circle, you don't always have to be
  • 00:56:53.290 --> 00:56:56.200
  • close and intimate with everybody, but don't lash out
  • 00:56:56.210 --> 00:56:59.280
  • and believe that maybe you might be beating the very person
  • 00:56:59.290 --> 00:57:04.100
  • that God has sent to save you.
  • 00:57:04.110 --> 00:57:07.230
  • Lord, we love you.
  • 00:57:07.240 --> 00:57:10.080
  • We trust your timing, and we thank you that you love us.
  • 00:57:10.090 --> 00:57:16.120
  • We ask for forgiveness of our sins and forgive us
  • 00:57:16.130 --> 00:57:18.290
  • for the ways that we've hurt people who love us.
  • 00:57:19.000 --> 00:57:22.030
  • Help us, Lord, to be slow to anger, quick to mercy.
  • 00:57:22.040 --> 00:57:26.280
  • Quick to listen, slow to speak.
  • 00:57:26.290 --> 00:57:30.070
  • Help us, Father, to understand the heart of our neighbor.
  • 00:57:30.080 --> 00:57:32.250
  • Help us to love them.
  • 00:57:32.260 --> 00:57:34.290
  • Lord, you loved us and you still do.
  • 00:57:35.000 --> 00:57:37.020
  • It's in Jesus's name we pray, amen.
  • 00:57:37.030 --> 00:57:39.110
  • And now the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face
  • 00:57:39.120 --> 00:57:42.150
  • to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
  • 00:57:42.160 --> 00:57:45.020
  • The Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you his peace.
  • 00:57:45.030 --> 00:57:49.100
  • In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
  • 00:57:49.110 --> 00:57:51.170
  • and of the Holy Spirit, amen.
  • 00:57:51.180 --> 00:57:55.160
  • 00:57:55.170 --> 00:58:02.030
  • 00:58:02.040 --> 00:58:07.030
  • 00:58:07.040 --> 00:58:13.290
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