But my people didn't listen, Israel paid no attention; so I let go of the reins and told them, "Run! Do it your own way!"
If you've ever wondered about the wisdom of doing things God's way, of the power and joy found in obedience, then read Psalm 81 over and over until it settles in your heart.
The lessons on the blessings of obedience, love, and service are rich. We learn of the magnificent protective hand of our God. His heart toward us is indescribable. But in the end, He does not force what is continually rejected, for He is the ultimate gentleman.
When God declares, "Do it your own way!" there is a palpable sense of divine frustration and hurt. A recent personal experience, where a ministry team member lied to many of us who loved and trusted him, gave me just a tiny glimpse of God's sorrow when we demand to do things our way, in defiance of His good plans for our lives.
What is it about us that still wants to do things our own way? Why do we fight the hand that created us? The mystery of the great love of God is still so unfathomable, yet this is the journey of faith and trust.
I find tremendous encouragement and comfort in the prayer of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane: "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42, NIV).
Even though our sin nature fights us, if we choose to serve God and do things as He has set out for us, then His covenant protects us not only from our enemies but from ourselves. Then we experience His plans and purpose for our lives fully.
God, sometimes obedience is hard. But not my will, but yours be done in my life.
Excerpted with permission, 2013.
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