“If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!  Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him and their punishment would last forever, but you would be fed with finest wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”  – Ps. 81:13-16

Why don’t we listen to God?  And I don’t mean ‘listen’ as in “use our audio receivers to detect sounds coming from God”.  I regularly get people ashamed or worried about the fact that they have never heard an audible sound they knew came from God.  This concern usually means they have surrounded themselves with people who have exaggerated hearing an audible voice – this phenomenon is extremely rare though not unheard of.

No, I mean ‘listen’ the way I say it to my kids, because that is the way God means it here: “Why won’t you just listen to me?”  Given the promises of God for we who listen, and the promises of God for those who won’t, I have to ask why in the world we wouldn’t listen?  It seems an easy thing to do when the reward is the defeat of all our enemies.  Unless…

What if we don’t have any enemies?  When we live in the lap of luxury, we don’t need our enemies defeated, so where’s the profit?

What if we don’t really believe this passage, or the Bible, or God?  What if we’ve listened again and again and yet still find ourselves defeated?

What if we believe ourselves self-sufficient?  What if we can defeat our own enemies, thank you very much?

Our obedience is directly related to our willingness to let go of our own (or our family’s) comfort, to our faith and trust in God’s word, and to our pride.  Any of these or a hundred other things can keep us from obeying – listening to – God.  Which is it for you?

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