FORFEITED BLESSINGS

“Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.”
Psalm 81:13, 14

If God’s people would have taken His word seriously and obeyed Him, walking in His ways, the Lord would have given great victories. Israel was not always, in every occasion, disobedient and rebellious. But more often than not, they were not diligent about their spiritual responsibilities. They would trust and obey sporadically, but then revert back to their own ways. It is always too soon to quit trusting and obeying. The Psalmist records how God’s people forfeited a great opportunity to see Him work. The Bible says that He “should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries” had they only “hearkened unto . . . and . . . walked in my ways!” Deliverance could have come to Israel. God would have come through for them. Victory is sometimes closer than we can imagine. But they quit listening to God and stopped obeying Him. Had they continued to hearken to the Lord and walk in His ways, it would have been a different story.

There will always be temptations to quit doing what is right. It may very well be that the temptations to quit become even more intense when we are about to see a spiritual breakthrough. We need to persevere in faith. We need to keep listening to what God says. Israel turned a deaf ear to God. That is exactly what the devil wants us to do. He wants us to quit listening to God. He wants us to think that God cannot be trusted, or that God’s way does not work out for our good and His glory. He wants us to doubt the Word of God. He wants us to tune God out. I think there are a lot of professing Christians who sit in church, but are not listening to God. Israel ceased to obey God and take the high road of godly living. Satan wants us to make the same kind of unwise decisions as they did.

Many people are giving up on God’s ways and embracing their own ways. We are warned in the Bible that the way that seems right to man in the end will bring death. It is the enemy’s tactic to convince us that God’s ways are too old-fashioned. When we quit hearkening to God’s Word and stop obeying Him, we are forfeiting untold potential blessings. When we are tempted to quit living for God, remember that victory may be just ahead.