I admit it: I am a rebel. I was born that way, and it is a daily struggle to overcome such a tendency by the grace of God. If it were not for Jesus, I would be hopeless.
This week we are reading The Greatest Commandment in Deuteronomy 6:1-7. “Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.’”
As I read this passage, it seems straightforward. However, I find myself resistant to the word “commandment” and I don’t think I am alone in this struggle.
I recently noticed that we tend to talk about God “asking” us to do things as opposed to His commanding us, as in: “God will never ask us to do something that He will not give us the strength to do it.”
I began to get curious and did a word study on the subject. I found that we “ask” God 140 times, “asks” God 18 times, and “asked” God for things 156 times. In the Bible, man asks God a total of 314 times to meet our needs. Furthermore, I found that nowhere in scripture does God “ask” us for something, while He “commands”, in one form or another, 460 times. My conclusion to this word study: I must “ask” myself “Who is in charge here?”
As believers, we talk about God being sovereign over the daily affairs of life while also forgetting that He is the sovereign King who deserves our obedience in everything.
Jesus left us with a parting commandment in Matthew 28:18-19,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
This is not the Great Suggestion. It is Jesus’ sovereign will for the church. We all have some part in fulfilling His will because Jesus did not ask us, he commanded us. Do you know what your part is?
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