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“HE WHO RULES HIS SPIRIT” D.Caudery   What a fascinating and thought challenging set of readings we have today.  Firstly we read of Balaam, a mysterious prophet who is not an Israelite, but who has knowledge and contact with the true God.  Balaam declares to Balak, an idol worshipper, who had “sent messengers to” him [Numbers 22 v.4] that the true “God is not

What a fascinating and thought challenging set of readings we have today.  Firstly we read of Balaam, a mysterious prophet who is not an Israelite, but who has knowledge and contact with the true God.  Balaam declares to Balak, an idol worshipper, who had “sent messengers to” him [Numbers 22 v.4] that the true “God is not

What a fascinating and thought challenging set of readings we have today.  Firstly we read of Balaam, a mysterious prophet who is not an Israelite, but who has knowledge and contact with the true God.  Balaam declares to Balak, an idol worshipper, who had “sent messengers to” him [Numbers 22 v.4] that the true “God is not man, that he should lie, or … that he should change his mind …  Has he said, and will he not do it? …. will he not fulfil it?” [23 v.19]  The lessons of history testify to the truth of this in many nations and different situations.

However, as events unfold we see how Balaam is torn between his contact with the true God and knowledge of his will –  and his own desire to receive honour (and money!) from an earthly ruler, Balak. This is a valuable lesson for all who have a relationship with God through his word and are seeking to do their best to do his will.

The end of our ch. 16 in Proverbs extols the need to be “slow to anger”  and that this “is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”   [v.32]  Solomon first states, “Good sense is a fountain of lifeto him who has it” [v.22].  God’s word is the primary source for this for us and of becoming genuinely “wise!”  The next verses advise – “The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.  Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body”  And surely to our minds! Are we fully experiencing this?

Then we come to Ephesians where Paul reminds them of the hopelessness of their “former manner of life” and how it was  “corrupt through deceitful desires” [4 v.22.]  We see this “manner of life” all around us today.   How few ‘rule‘ their ‘spirit, ruling and guiding the way they think – for this causes the ways they act!

So few are aware that there is a God, let alone have a genuine day by day relationship with him, the foundation of which is their reading and meditation on his word.

Let us be among those few – trying,  with the utmost sincerity to “rule” our “spirit” – following the counsel Paul gave to the Ephesians “to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” [4 v.23,24]