"Agh! How could I do it again? That ugly, old habit. That slip of the tongue. That selfish impatience. That voice raised in anger. Why do I do that?"
Ever wish your life was like a recording artist in the studio? You'd have a producer listening closely, ready to instruct you how to sound better. And, of course, give you a chance for another take. Life would be easier if we got multiple takes.
"Sorry, the real me came out right there. I didn't want you to hear that. I'm not that mean. At least I don't think so. Or want you to think so. Take 2!" And you play it all over again with the nicer, edited you.
It's our preferences. Our expectations. Our pride. Our fear. Our selfishness. Even, let's be honest, our sinfulness that leads us into those ugly moments we wish we could edit out.
Psalm 81 tells us one reason we get ourselves in such trouble. When we are taken aback by the stubbornness of our hearts—that ugly, unbending self-will. When we taste the bile of our own foolish—those untrusting thoughts of God or the intentions of others. When we have those moments, Psalm 81 pins our shortcomings not on our circumstances, or the other guy, or Satan, but on us.
It is when we do not listen to God. It is when we are proud before God. When we do our own thing. When we disobey Him. This is when we get ourselves into trouble.
If only we would listen to Him. The Sovereign God of all who loves each of us as if there was only one of us. In Psalm 81, God recalls the good He has done for His people, He announces the blessings He will give even then to His people, if... If they will only listen and obey.
Maybe we need to turn off the distractions—social media, TV, the radio, smart phones. We need to open God's Word, humble ourselves, confess our sins, ask His forgiveness, and seek His will.
Imagine yourself putting on the headphones. Nothing but you and God. Hear Him. Obey Him.
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