"But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life," the donkey answered. "Have I ever done anything like this before?" "No," Balaam admitted. Numbers 22:30
Let's talk about Balaam's donkey. It is one of two animals to ever talk in the Bible (the deceitful serpent in Genesis is the other animal). As Balaam and his donkey were on their way to curse the Israelites, God allowed the donkey to see an angel with a sword blocking their pathway. Because of this, it tried to turn around. Each time the donkey tried to avoid the angels, Balaam beat it. Despite the opposition, this donkey continued to try to stay away from the angel with a sword. Because of its actions, Balaam's life was saved.
God used the donkey to save Balaam's life and to keep the Israelites, His chosen people, from being cursed. He used the donkey to carry out His plan.
A donkey is such an unlikely character, isn't it? I'm not sure about you, but I would expect a human to have been the one to stop Balaam. Instead, God uses this donkey. What I know about God is that He uses the most unlikely sources to carry out His purpose and plan. Yes, He even uses donkeys. He will even use you.
We are not promised that everything God calls us to do will be easy. In fact, when God uses us to carry out His plan, we may face hardship. The donkey's situation was difficult. It was so difficult that Balaam beat it three different times. Even though the donkey was mistreated and faced hardship, it continued to act in accordance with God's plan. When God uses us to carry out His plan, we, too, will face hardship or persecution. Are we willing to be used anyway?
God uses unlikely people. Sometimes I forget that truth. I forget that He will even use me! He wants to use you, too. Being used by Him to carry out His plan will cost us. It may cost relationships, safety, or security. Will you let Him use you, despite the cost?
Is God calling you in a specific way to be used by Him that will cost you? Maybe God is calling you to tell a friend a hard truth that may cost you that friendship. Perhaps He is calling you to give financially to someone in need. He may be asking you to go minister in a country that some may consider unsafe. Tell one person today the way God wants to use you, even if though it may cost you. Ask that person to hold you accountable.
Read Numbers 22:26-33 (NLT)
Then the angel of the Lord moved farther down the road and stood in a place too narrow for the donkey to get by at all. This time when the donkey saw the angel, it lay down under Balaam. In a fit of rage Balaam beat the animal again with his staff.
Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.
“You have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!”
“But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life,” the donkey answered. “Have I ever done anything like this before?”
“No,” Balaam admitted.
Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.
“Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lorddemanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.”