If Only You Would Listen


“If my people would only listen to me,

if Israel would only follow my ways”

Psalm 81:13 (NIV)


As a mother of young boys, I would often get tickled (or frustrated) if I felt that they were not listening to me.  Sometimes it was comical, I would tell them exactly where to find something.  But then they could not find it. After getting up to help, I would realize they had only half-listened.  Then I would give them the “if you have only listened to me” lecture.  It is ridiculous how inattentive children can be…

Then the Lord would whisper to my heart “if you would only listen to me.”  Children are no more ridiculous than I am at times.

Lately I have been on a quest to be a more attentive listener to the Lord.  Rather than coming before Him only to present Him with a bullet list of my wants and needs, I am trying to spend time listening for His voice.  Not just in the BIG things.  But also in the tiny.  I have been asking for divine guidance on ministry, parenting, and mundane job related tasks.  And guess what?!  He has something to say!  And guess what else?!  He is so smart!

Sometimes His direction causes me to work in a more timely fashion.  Sometimes His direction causes me to avoid calamity.  Sometimes His direction urges me to let go of something I am doing.  Other times, His voice drops a random word of encouragement in my heart for someone else.

He is such a wellspring of wisdom and guidance!  Why do we not listen more?

I think the biggest reason for me is doubt.  I doubt that I heard Him right.  I worry how I will look to others if I actually say “no” to something.  But sometimes, the biggest hurdle is… me. I am too afraid to do what He says; or I simply do not want to do it.

He is a wise counselor, but we can never forget He is God and He is Sovereign.  He is to be obeyed; not just listened to, but obeyed!

At times, I think it is optional.  But I am mistaken.  Take a look at today’s verse, in context:

“But my people would not listen to me;

Israel would not submit to me.

12So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts

to follow their own devices.

13“If my people would only listen to me,

if Israel would only follow my ways,

14how quickly I would subdue their enemies

and turn my hand against their foes!

15Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,

and their punishment would last forever.

16But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;

with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Deliverance, provision, and soul satisfaction is the promised outcome!  What are you waiting for?  Listen and submit!

Dear Lord, give us ears to hear what You are saying and a ready heart to obey.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.


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