Listening Versus Not Listening
God will lead those who are willing to follow. The Creator of the ends of the earth, who has all knowledge and power, is the One who makes this promise: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go” (Psalm 32:8). This is a personal commitment from the Lord God. If we will come to Him seeking and believing Him, He will give us instruction and teaching for whatever situation we’re facing, and He never makes a mistake. God has complete knowledge of our circumstance, knowing how it began and what the end result will be—if we obey Him or if we don’t. The Lord’s pledge to instruct and guide us is a personal message to every follower of Jesus.
The Lord warns those who will not listen. After giving His people this wonderful promise, God also warns those who won’t heed His instruction, teaching, and counsel.
Do not be stubborn (v. 9). The Lord wants us to willingly follow His guidance. If we resist Him, we’re like a horse or mule that can only be controlled by the force of a bit and bridle. If we refuse to come near to God, we’ll reap the consequences of not listening to Him.
“Many are the sorrows of the wicked” (v. 10). Whenever we ignore God’s counsel, we’ll experience trouble and heartache. Sometimes we live in rebellion by simply relying on ourselves and making our own decisions based on what we think is best. But since God has no place in our thinking, we’re walking in disobedience, indifference, and pride. This is a foolish lifestyle, and its fruit will eventually prove to be bitter.
God blesses those who will listen. In contrast to stubbornness and rebellion, those who trust in the Lord will experience the fruit of obedience.
Lovingkindness shall surround them (v. 10). If we seek and follow God’s guidance, we’ll see the evidence of His goodness and love. This doesn’t mean we won’t have problems or heartaches, but God will use them to increase our trust in Him and to mature and strengthen us. His lovingkindness will surround us, protecting us on every side. We may falter and fail at times, but if we’ll quickly confess and ask Him to forgive us for not seeking His guidance, He’ll lead us back to the right path.
They will be glad and rejoice (v. 11). When we follow the Lord’s instructions, we’ll have a sense of peace, contentment, and joy— even while walking through trials and suffering.
This article is adapted from the Sermon Notes for the message, “Guided by God,”