I read this wonderful note written by Pastor Zac Loh on Facebook this morning, and I thought that it was one I would like to share with anyone who might happen upon this blog. It is indeed insightful and spirit led.
Donkeys are looked upon as low class animals in some parts of the world. They are plain. But they are good servants to humans. They do their job without vanity and ego.
It goes without saying that we should aspire to be like them in serving God. Yet this world tells us differently. You’ve got phrases such as, “stupid as a donkey.” If we tell the people of this world that we aspire to be like donkeys, they will laugh at us for having this notion, they would think, “to be like donkeys …ha! ha!”
When you think of donkeys, you would also think of donkey riders. Of the few donkey riders in the Bible, there are two who were significant, namely Balaam and Jesus.
The first donkey, which was Balaam’s donkey, was a disobedient donkey in a good way.
And the second donkey, which was Jesus’ donkey, was an obedient donkey, also in a good way.
The first rider, Balaam, was a disobedient prophet who capitulated for earthly gains whereas the second rider, Jesus, was an obedient prophet who was faithful to death for heavenly gains.
First Donkey And Balaam The Rider
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. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. Now the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. Then the Angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again. Then the Angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff. Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!” So the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?” And he said, “No.” Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. And the Angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me. The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.”
but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet (2 Peter 2:16)
In this first Biblical pairing of donkey-and-rider, Balaam was a picture of a leader who disobeyed the plan of God in the course of ministry. His donkey is a picture of a follower who was in submission to the leader `riding above’. This leader steered the donkey wherever he wanted it to go. What gives point to our study is that this donkey refused to obey this leader. This donkey had revelation. This donkey could speak. And this donkey saved this leader’s life!
If you are a follower, and when God has anointed you to speak …speak up …because you may be saving your leader from destruction. Your failure to speak up may result in negative consequences for your leader. You failure to speak up may spell disaster to your leader.
There was this highly respected minister of God who had such an admiration from people - to the point that there was a sort of an aura surrounding him. This leader had many pastors serving under his ministry umbrella. He wrote many books. And he founded a Bible College.
One morning before the Sunday Service began, God gave me a prophetic word for this minister. But because it was a `correction’ word, I withheld myself. I could not bring myself to do it. In my thinking, I was a tiny guy and this man was an institution!
For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me. (1 Corinthians 4:15-16)
Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
Paul was a senior spiritual person and a father of faith in Christ. When the Corinthians believers heard the teachings of Christ, they needed to see it in real life. Paul was a good example to emulate.
Then again, they had the teachings of Christ to compare Paul with. Paul added that they should imitate him even as he was imitating Christ. The word of God is a mirror. Paul had to reflect that. Otherwise, they did not have to follow Paul. It was as simple as that.
Listen, dear leaders, one of your followers could save you. One of your followers might be anointed by God to speak to you in revelation and help your ministry.
I once heard a profound statement made by `Mr. Pentecost,’ Mr. David DuPleissis, in a cassette tape. He said that `if God cannot use a new Christian to correct you, then you are not godly.’ It took me a long, and hard, time to understand this. Now, I am appreciating it.
I think of Peter and see what a wonderful leader he was. Paul, when he was still a young upstart, had the knack to publicly withstand this established leader to the face; he chided and corrected Peter in public (Galatians 2:11-16). A few leaders of today might have killed Paul’s ministry in hidden retaliation. Yet, Peter went into record openly defending Paul’s ministry (2 Peter 3:15-16)!
Second Donkey And Jesus The Rider
The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.” (John 12:12-15)
One Bible teacher highlighted that we should not think that this donkey (pointing to himself) was dumb enough to accept all the shouts and praises.
As servants of God, we must not be dumb enough think that the admiration is for us. We should know that all glory goes to the One who anointed us. It is not for us, but for the One riding on us.
He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. (John 7:18)
Humility is a subject difficult to tackle. In real life, the moment we feel that we have it; that itself is pride exhibiting itself.
What is humility? We can humble ourselves in the flesh. But it is not the humility that God is looking for. The purpose of humility is not so that others can admire our humility. The purpose of humility is so that God is glorified.
For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:9-10)
God gives grace to the humble. The funny thing is, not only that God gives grace to the humble, we need His grace to be humble. And we need His grace to serve. Paul said that he was the least, and not worthy to be called an apostle. He then proceeded to mention the grace of God. It is evident that humility and grace is intricately connected. Paul worked much because the grace of God was working much with Him.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, (Galatians 1:15-16)
Paul was called through the grace of God. He served by the grace of God. The grace of God positions us so that we can be anointed. We cannot, by the flesh, strive to be anointed. We can never be good enough for God to use us. It is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of grace, who brings us to the place where we can be anointed (Hebrews 10:29).
We are a special assortment of God's manifold grace. Ministry grace differs with each person. We are not standard products from the factory assembly line. We each bear a unique handiwork of our Master, who is the potter, as we are His clay. He breaks us again and again …and forms us again and again …and we become more and more like the unique shape and design that He wants us to be. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, we are informed of Paul’s experience with a chronic and painful trial. He asked to be delivered from it. Jesus answered and said, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Jesus instructed His disciples to loose the donkey and bring it to Him, and saying, “The Lord has need of them.” (Matthew 21:1-3)
God has a ministry plan for each one of us. It is greater than any vocation, career or business. I pray that you will be loosed to be a humble donkey because ...the Lord has need of them!