Sunday, March 13, 2011

Every Command is a Promise (church bulletin cover)

There’s great hope when God tells us to do what’s impossible to do. He knows we can’t do it, and He really doesn’t want us trying to do it as if we thought we could do it ourselves.

For example, we know that God strictly commanded Israel to “drive out all the inhabitants of the land” (Numbers 33:52), and we know that it was actually God who was “driving out before you nations greater and mightier than yourselves” (Deuteronomy 4:38). In fact, God promised that it would be “the Lord your God who fights for you” as the children of Israel took the land (Deut. 3:22). So in light of all that, it makes sense for Moses to say, “...that you may go in and take possession of the good land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has promised” (Deut. 6:18-19).

Notice it doesn’t say, “ the Lord has commanded.” This is because God promised to do the very same thing that He had commanded His people to do. And this is why we never need to fret when God asks us to do what seems impossible. Because as we take a step of obedience to do what God has commanded, God steps in to help us accomplish what’s in His heart for us to do. We have a part – He has a part. We can’t do our part without Him, and He doesn’t want to do his part without us. So we do our part in faith-filled dependence on Him, and He does His part out of grace-filled love for us. What a wonderful arrangement!

It seems to me that this means that when God’s grace is involved, every command God gives us contains a promise that it’s by His strength that it’ll happen. That’s why I don’t want to get stressed out when God tells me to do what seems impossible — because as a child of God, we can be sure that whatever God commands is also a promise!

© 2011 by Ken Peters

No comments: