Somewhere in the midst of traveling and spending time with my family this summer I found myself pondering the subject of “commands”. Now that I am a grandfather, I tend to see things from a different perspective than I do when I am in the father role. As a father when my children were growing up I issued, on occasions, “commands” and expected them to be obeyed. My pondering now is in the arena of “how many of them were “lawful” commands and how many of them were “awful” (unlawful) commands.
Through out the Scriptures we come across God’s commands to His children. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind all of His commands are lawful and to be obeyed. Being aware I am not God (though even now there times I have an ungodly role reversal) all my commands and expectations were not “lawful”. I thought this was a simple issue but after doing a little research it became very complicated at least in legal terms and definitions. Nevertheless, a lawful command is one that is in harmony with the “law” and is “constituted, authorized or established by law”. (Webster’s) Therefore, for me the question is, “Does the person issuing the command have the authority to do so? And secondly, is the command able to be carried out?” If the person has the power to issue the command, does the person receiving the command have the “where with all” to obey the command?
I have reflected as a Dad there were times I told my daughters to do something or else, and was completely frustrated when they did not instantly obey. Now being older, and hopefully somewhat wiser, I realize the reason, at least on some occasions, my commands were not obeyed was because my daughters did not comprehend the command nor the consequence, nor did they know how to do what I told them. I had in reality given them an “unlawful” command. As I grew and they grew my “commands” were more comprehendible and less “unlawful”.
God never gives an “unlawful” command and His expectation is “obedience”. This is possible because He gives us the power to obey. This does not mean I exercise that power, but it also leaves me without excuse. God’s commands are always with my “good” in mind. My refusal to obey a command is always with “MY good” in mind. I am continuing to learn His “good” for me is always better than “my good” for me. This Ministry has helped me to walk in that knowledge and light more and more. “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory!!!”
“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.” (Deut. 30:11)
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12