My parents were too strict. They had a list of commands that were restrictive to an exploring tyke. “Don’t touch the hot stove – Don’t play with matches – Don’t touch the sharp edge of the knife – Don’t pull the cat’s tail – Go to bed – Eat your veggies – Take a bath – Go to School.”
In their mind, my obedience would prevent harm and help me live a better life.
It’s not a bad parallel to God’s commands. “Don’t eat fruit from the tree that gives knowledge of good and evil – Don’t lie – Don’t go after your neighbor’s spouse – Love the Lord your God – Love your neighbor as yourself – Give and God will give to you in return.”
Disobeying my parent’s commands brought blisters to my hands, blood from my fingers, and marks of cat claws on my face.
Disobeying God’s commands makes me less than I could be. Should I turn my back on God’s commands He will not enter my eternal address in His phone book.
In my younger years, it seemed God’s commands took all of the fun from life. Some of those commands like “Thou Shalt Not Play Pool – Thou Shalt Not Play Pinball Machines – Thou Shalt Not Mix Swim With Thy Neighbor,” turned out to come from my parents and preachers trying to scare me away from hell.
God’s commands remain true. In my older years, I see all around me the pain and destruction that comes from lies, from broken marital promises, from the dog eat dog approach to life, and from those building financial and glory empires to satisfy self.
For the record, every command of God is true. Every command God issues is because He cares about me. As a loving Father, He never wants to see me burned. He never wants to see me cause destruction to others. His commands are true and for the benefit of every human relation.
It occurs to me that a good description of hell is to live as if there are no commands and God does not exist. Talk about a dog eat dog world. The biggest dog always wins and there is always a bigger dog.
Even as I move toward the Garden, Satan is always ready to pop in and out of my life with a nuance on playing at the edges of God’s commands.
This is my game plan. I will continue to trust in the goodness of God’s commands. I will attempt to be open to the possibility of Satan making his attack. I will remember the Holy Spirit lives within me to guide. I will follow the “get behind me Satan,” attack of Jesus. I will remember to answer Satan with the promises and commands of God.
And, I ask you to add me to your prayers requesting God give me the trust, the smarts, and the toughness to follow my intent.
Together, let’s assure each other we will do our best to honor God’s commands. The crazy thing about it there is no better decision to make.
Stay tuned. – Gary J. Sorrells