Satisfaction in Life!
Psalm 81:8-16 outlines a path toward living a satisfied life. It goes like this: If we will listen to God, submit to what he says and follow Him, He will bring the enemy under control, satisfy us and fill us with blessing. God desires to subdue evil around us and fill us with good things! To listen would mean to seek and hear Him, which can mean through His Word, by prayer, the Holy Spirit or wise friends and counsel. Submitting means to agree with God, believe His Truth, repent- or turn away- from sin. Following God looks very much like obedience; and to obey is an intentional, determination of the WILL!
And that’s the rub.
As humans we generally don’t like the word obey. It brings up thoughts and attitudes of having to do something against our own will. And there again lies the problem. Our will can be resistant, un-accepting, avoidant. It has been there from the very beginning as seen in Genesis 2:16: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden” or in other words, you can choose as you will. But in verse 17, God tells us to exercise your will against what is not best for you: “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” So from the very beginning we did not listen, submit to God’s perfect plan for us, nor did we follow His path to blessing and full satisfaction in life.
Diane Langberg says “God’s way of working with our wills, which are so bent against Him, is instructive. He does not force, but rather pursues with grace, invites or, when necessary, allows us to have what we will and then graciously uses the consequences of our choices to turn us back to Him.” She goes on to say that repeated bowing of our will yields slavery-the things we practice submitting to eventually own us, just as Romans 6:16 tells us. This is seen as somewhat obvious in an addiction such as alcohol or drugs, but is less apparent when considering our attitudes, thoughts and behaviors. Things that we allow to enslave us are the very evils that God desires to subdue and control in our lives. (Dr Langberg’s site is www.dianelangberg.com)
Is it possible our will (listen, submit, follow-obey) in some areas of our lives is hindering God from restraining unhealthy outcomes and keeping us from receiving all the satisfaction and blessings in store for us? I believe we certainly LIMIT God sometimes. Many times we forget or just don’t consider how powerful our creator really is! We tend to only draw upon limited amounts of power available to us. We determine for ourselves how powerful God is and we non-consciously set limits on how much God can give us or even how often he can provide and help us. Julia Cameron calls this “scarcity thinking”- we don’t want our “luck” to run out; don’t want to over spend our spiritual abundance; limiting God as our source of power, generosity, grace, and provision. Leo Tolstoy said: “It is completely within my power either to serve God or not to serve him. Serving him, I add to my own good and the good of the whole world. Not serving him, I forfeit my own good and deprive the world of that good, which was in my power to create.” Psalm 81 is a great challenge, but the IF comes down to what we will believe and what we will to do. Let’s see God as the source and the power!
 Diane Langberg “The Human Will” Christian Counseling Today Vol 16 no. 3