I received an email from an old friend today. I love the kind of friends that are vulnerable and seem to pick up right where you left off, even if it was years since you last talked. Her desire for more Scripture in her life inspired me as well as challenged me. Thank you friend. 🙂
Her email reminded me of some advice my mom used to tell me. Whenever I would go awhile without reading Scripture, I always had a hard time getting back “into the Word” (wow, there’s some Christian lingo for y’all!). My mom would always tell me to start with the Psalms. My mom is such a faithful woman who has always set the bar high as a wife & mom. I remember getting up at 5:30am to get a drink of water and seeing her in the living room with her Bible, reading before the rest of the house woke up. I have a hard enough time getting up at 7pm! Each to our own, right?
This morning I took my mom’s advice and went right to the Psalms. My eyes fell on Psalm 81 which starts out with singing, the sound of musical instruments and praising God for who He is. Then in verse 6, comes this “language” from the Lord that the Psalmist quotes:
“I relieved his shoulders of the burden, His hands were freed from the basket. You called in trouble and I rescued you. I answered you in the hiding place of thunder. I proved you at the waters of Meribah. Hear, Oh My people, and I will admonish you. O Israel, if you would listen to Me! Let there be no strange god among you. Nor shall you worship any foreign god. I, the Lord, am your God. Who brought you up from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
But My people did not listen to My voice, and Israel did not obey Me. So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own devices. Oh that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! I would quickly subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their adversaries. Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to Him, and their time of punishment would be forever.
But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you. “
Isn’t that amazing?! What a beautiful reminder that the Lord LONGS to take from us the burden on our shoulders. He longs to fill our mouths will good things. What a beautiful image of us “opening our mouths” in submission to the Lord, trusting that He is going to give us what we need.
My heart got heavy as I read the last few verses because I know that I struggle with not listening to His voice daily. Obedience is something, that as Christians, talk about a lot and seem to have knowledge of, yet we forget to actually OBEY. Verse 15 says, “Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to Him.” I can’t tell you how many times (just today!) that I have pretended to be obedient. I think when you have grown up in the church, for a lot of us, pretending is something that we have to fight against. Are you pretending? Or are you obedient?
The Psalm ends with God offering a reminder that if we obey Him, He will feed us with the finest of wheat and honey. He promises to satisfy us. Friends, let’s challenge ourselves by asking daily, “am I being obedient to the Lord right now?” Be hopeful as well as joyful in the promise that He will satisfy!
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We made it to Salt Lake City! The move is a good example of being obedient for me. Did you know that you can’t buy wine at a regular grocery store here?! You have to go to a liquor store which closes around 6pm and there is only a couple around the city. I know, I know…probably not the GREATEST example of having to be obedient but give me a break! I love wine and when you live in a land that makes it really hard for you to buy some, you start to think of the convenient city you lived in previously. It’s true that Salt Lake City is not Portland, OR but it is true that we have been blessed in so many ways just by moving.
Pictures coming soon!