Perhaps you are going through a rough time – discouraged, bitter upset and the future is looking dismal and bleak. Are you hearing a whisper in your heart: “The Lord is making your life miserable? He’s the one to blame. He’s keeping you back. He’s the kill-joy in your life. If you hadn’t been so sensitive to the will of God in your life, you would have been much better off. Things have been going wrong ever since you started seriously trying to live for Him. This is what you get! So much for that abundant life He offers. He’s not as good as you think He is. He’s the problem.” Have you had such thoughts lately?
Balak wanted Balaam the prophet of Israel to curse the people of Israel. Balak promised him honor and riches if he would turn against God’s people. He left no stone unturned in courting Balaam and getting him on side. He worked hard to get Balaam to put a curse on God’s people. Even though we later learn later of the true dark character of Balaam, at this point in the story he dug in his heels and refused to curse God’s people. Balak flew into a rage – extremely wild that Balaam would bless God’s people three times over rather than put a triple curse on them. He yells at Balaam and tells him to get out of his sight! With stinging sarcasm and seething with rage he yells:
the Lord hath kept thee back from honor.”
It has been the hiss of God’s enemy from Day #1: the Lord is your problem. Satan suggested to Eve in the Garden of Eden: “Your God isn’t as good as you think He is. He is actually holding back something good from you. He is keeping you in the dark. He knows that the day you eat of this fruit, your eyes will be opened – you will see the light. You will know things you never knew before.” Down through the centuries, Satan has been whispering anti-God messages into the hearts of believers and unbelievers alike. Occasionally he uses his megaphone and blasts into your ears: “the Lord is the problem. He is keeping you back!”
Have you ever blamed God for some temptation in your life? James says God tempts no one to sin. That type of things starts within my own heart – my own wicked flesh. God has nothing to do with it. Don’t blame God for those persistent temptations.
But the flip side of it is: The Lord does hold us back when He knows it is in our best spiritual interests to be held back. Are you waiting for a green light to move forward? Maybe the Lord is prolonging the red light and delaying the green for a reason. Perhaps you are anxious to proceed with something you’re not ready for yet. Maybe it is premature.
If the Lord is keeping you back, He is doing it for a good reason and out of love. He loved you enough to save you and when He can see down the road that something would not be good for you, He values you enough to hold you back.
Be assured if the Lord is holding you back it is for your own good and for His ultimate glory. Don’t persist on pushing ahead if He is holding you back. It will only cause regret and maybe disaster.