Missed Blessings (Part 3)
Missed Blessings (Part 2)
God desires to bless His children. He wants to pour out his love and provisions on all those who are born again. He is, however, according to Psalm 81, limited based on our lifestyles. If this is true, then what is it that we do to hinder the blessings of God in our lives? Let's examine for a few moments the text that we have been considering these last few days...Psalm 81.
- We are Disobedient Hearers – “But my people would not hearken to my voice…” (vs. 11)
There are three ways in which we can be participants in this sin. First, we can not really pay attention when He speaks. Often times while I am working on something, my wife will begin to tell me about something. Not really paying attention, I will nod and attempt to make it appear as though I am really paying attention. “Have you even listened to one word that I’ve said?” she will eventually say. I call this listening with my “man ears.” Often we listen to God with our man ears. In other words, we just pretend like we are listening.
Second, we can listen and acknowledge what we have heard, but we soon forget. If my wife asks me to take a trip to the grocery store, I will probably forget half the list if I do not write it down. The same is true in our spiritual life. We often hear God speak to us through His word. We then make a decision to serve Him, and then we forget all about it. We need to safeguard against this by writing down our decisions or by asking our spouse or a close friend to keep us accountable. We must not forget the decisions that we have made for Christ.
Third, we willingly disobey God’s Word. We clearly hear and understand that God wants us to live a certain way. When faced with the opportunity to practice what we have heard, our memory is crystal clear. We know what is right, and yet we just don’t do it. “I know I shouldn’t be doing this but….” This is often our creed. We have to eliminate this philosophy from our lives completely. There is no excuse for this type of behavior, and it causes God to withhold many blessings from our lives.
- We have Distracted Hearts – “So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust…” (vs. 12)
The nation of
Often times, Christians are more consumed and distracted with the cares of the world than the world is. Christians are constantly seeking new cars, new houses, and stuff to put in their new cars and new houses. They are following the world’s trends, the world’s sports, and everything else of the world, but have no concern for the things of God. Christians who live like this are living a distracted life following after their own heart’s lusts.
- We follow Destructive Help – “…and they walked in their own counsels.” (vs. 12)
Rather than obeying the clear advice and counsel provided by God through His Word or through His man, we often seek counsel from friends and fools.
We will ask the preacher for his advice on some matter of great importance to us and he will gladly provide advice based on the principles in the Word of God. We will then follow up that visit with a visit to our friends who, rather than confirming what the preacher said, will begin to advise us in another direction. Their advice will seem to make good sense because, after all, they are you’re friends and they really understand you. We fool ourselves into thinking that our friends have more wisdom than God’s Word.
If it is not our friends we are listening to then it is the fools to whom we listen. These are found everywhere. Advice columns are located in the paper. Radio and television talk shows are dispensing opinions like a manure spreader on a country farm. Personally, I enjoy listening to some conservative talk show hosts about politics. As soon as they say something that is contrary to the clear teachings of God’s Word, however, I turn them off. I don’t care if it is Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Oprah Winfrey or Dr. Phil. If they begin speaking something contrary to God’s Word, they are a fool and I am a greater fool for listening. (No…I do not listen to all the names I just mentioned.)
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” ~ Romans 8:32
When we stop and look at all the blessings that we wish we had, we often get bitter that God is not blessing us the way that he is blessing others. The truth is that we are too lazy to take the time and effort to line ourselves up with God’s Word and put ourselves in the place of His blessings. We need to get under the spout where the glory comes out!
Labels: Spiritual Challenge