READ: Numbers 24-26
THINK: What get's your attention? What turns your head or makes you take notice? What motivates you? What are you passionate about? The truth is that whatever excites you most has the potential to control you most. For this reason, you must guard your affections and stay focused on God's desires. Regardless of how appealing things appear, only things that line up with God's Word and fit His purpose for your life are worth your time and attention.
RESPOND: How can you tell that Balaam was not sincere in blessing God's people (24:1)? How or why would God's Spirit come "upon" and speak through a guy like Balaam? (See 24:2 note.) What did Balaam ultimately predict about Israel and Edom (24:17-19)? Why were the Israelite men so easily seduced by the Moabite women, and what role did religion play in this (25:1-3)? Since he was unable to curse God's people, what advice did Balaam later give Moabites to turn Israelites away from God? (See 22:5 and 25:2 notes.) What similar strategy does Satan use in an attempt to mislead Christians? What can happen when followers of God become susceptible to worldly influences? How and why did God punish Balaam in the end? (See 25:2 note.) Why and how did God punish those who led the Israelites into sin? (See 25:4 note.) Why does God take it so seriously when leaders defy Him in this way? In what way was Phinehas "zealous for the honor of his God" (25:13)? Though Phinehas' actions were extreme, in what way did he share God's attitudes? (See 25:11 note.) Why was another census taken of Israel? (See 26:2 note.) What did God ensure by giving the Israelites their inheritance according to the size of the tribes and families?
PRAY: Renew your commitment to serve God because you love Him, and not simply because of the benefits He provides. Pray for wisdom and discipline to resist worldly influences that can subtly lead you away from God.
ACT: Is there anything that is enticing or seducing you away from God-publicly or privately? It could be an issue of pride, lust or misguided trust. Get rid of or run from whatever is pulling you down, then turn your affections back to Christ. If you are the one setting a bad example or influencing others to defy their consciences or compromise their faith, then repent to God, apologize to those involved and change your ways before you meet with destruction.
New Testament FIRE Starters are now available in a yearlong, daily devotional book. This hard cover book is laid out in 365 daily devotionals allowing you to take FIRE with you! Great for personal use, to use as a family or give as a gift.
Order your hard copy of the FIRE Starters book today!
If you do not have a Fire Bible Student Edition, place your order NOW!