“If only My people would listen to Me and Israel will follow My ways.” Psalm 81:13
Today’s society has become fast-paced and quite self-serving. For many people they choose what they think is the easy path. If they think something is too difficult to follow, they will make up excuses or try to manipulate the word of God to suit their own needs.
In Psalm 81:13, God sounds like many parents today when their children do not want to listen. In the first part of the verse God mirrors what many parents say to or about their children, “Why won’t they listen to me?” God has mapped how we should live our lives wisely and how to avoid or deal with adversities in life. Unfortunately, seldom do we as His children actually listen to His message. For most of us, we think we know a better way to get through life.
In the second part of the verse, consider Israel as yourself. God does not take pleasure in our pain nor our disobedience, even if it is inadvertently. God with his infinite wisdom pleads to us to follow His ways and truly listen and apply his teachings.
With many people today, they are faced with a large amount of adversity. Some people even question, “Why me, God?” What most people don’t realize is that God didn’t create the problem. By taking the ‘so called’ easy path, which is the more self-serving path, they find life is harder than they expected. In James 4:7 it says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Many times our problems are self-induced, but by not submitting and obeying God it will leave a window open for the devil to step in and make things worse and create other problems.
This principle is also backed up by John 10:10. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” By following God’s lifestyle that is mapped out in His living word, the devil will not have anyway to get in. Just as people put security systems on their houses and cars, listening and applying God’s word to our daily lives is like having a security system on our life.
God wants you to have a full and joyful life. While you are enjoying your life the devil is going to try to break in and steal, kill, and destroy any joy you have. There are several scriptures throughout the Bible that mentions “the Lord is my strength.” When you don’t listen and follow God’s word, it is difficult to have the strength to resist the devil and other adversities. To not follow God’s word fully means you don’t have the full strength of God to back you up.
In Matthew 19:26 Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Life isn’t always going to be easy but with Him all things are possible. His strength and wisdom will carry us through tough times and allow us to handle anything the devil throws our way.
How often do you really listen to God?
Do you prefer the self-serving path or do you follow the path God has mapped out for us in His teachings?
How often do you make excuses for not following God’s word?
What are some ways you can improve your listening skills and do better obeying His teachings?
Thank you for being a patient Father. I may not always have had the wisdom to listen to and obey Your word. Please grant me the strength to apply your teachings in every aspect of my life so that I may glorify Your name with every action I take.
In Your loving name – Amen!