2001-05-16 - Authoritative Commands
Hearing God's Callings Series, Part 4
Originally Published 1999-02-03
Genesis 35:1 (NCV) God said to Jacob, "Go to the city
of Bethel and live there."
My three kids are 15, 13 and 9. I have two girls and the youngest is a boy.
There is one lesson that I am continuing to learn as a parent, particularly
with my teenagers: Deep down, kids like authoritative commands, well-defined
expectations and boundaries. The more specific I am in dealing with my kids,
the more they respond in a positive manner. For example, I might say, "after
dinner tonight, I would really like for you to do your homework." "Take a
shower, clean your room if you have time, and then you can play some." Thirty
minutes later, I am repeating myself over and over again, trying to get them
to do what I have asked. But when I specifically state my command to them,
"you will do your homework now, then take a shower, and be in bed at 9:00
sharp," then they hop to it.
When my commands are not authoritative, they are unsure of what to do. But
when they are very clear and spoken with authority, they understand and follow
directions. (Most of the time ; ) )
Throughout the Bible, we read about God's callings for His people. His order
to Jacob is very commanding: He says, "go." God does not say, "hey Jacob,
if you feel like it, if you think you can, if you don't mind, if you have
the time, how about going to Bethel and living there?" God says "go!"
Feeling uncertain about a decision in your life? Do you think God is calling
you to make a change or to improve what you are currently doing and continue
as you are? Ask yourself, "am I receiving an authoritative command from God?
Is it clear?" If not, then continue praying about your situation, asking
God for a clear command.
True callings from God are authoritative commands. Our God is not a God of
ambiguity or confusion; He is a powerful, loving and authoritative God.
1 Corinthians 14:33 (NCV) God is not a God of confusion
but a God of peace.
Lord, You are the Father and we are the sons and daughters,
and You help us to listen and hear Your unambiguous commands in our lives.
Give us the strength, wisdom and courage to obey. In Jesus' name, Amen.