God’s Sovereign Will – Part II
God’s Commanded Will
In Part I of God’s Sovereign Will, I shared with you one aspect of His Will – His Decreed Will. We examined the Scripture-based understanding Adonai Elohim Tziva’ot, Lord God of Hosts, does whatever He chooses to do, for His purposes. Over this we human beings have no control or role; however, we do have great, invested interest. Understandings from Scripture assure us our Beloved Abba has our best interests at heart, as we read in Jeremiah 29:11-13 – ‘For I know what plans I have in mind for you,’ says Adonai, ‘plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future. When you call to me and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you seek me, you will find me, provided you seek for me wholeheartedly’ and in Jeremiah 33:3 – I love you with an everlasting love;
this is why in my grace I draw you to me. Both these messages to us, through the Prophet Jeremiah, assure us whatever befalls us, the children of the Living God, we will be the better for it, in the long run. In this week’s devotion/teaching, I focus on another aspect of God’s Sovereign Will, His Commanded Will.
There is only one source of His Commanded Will – His Word, in Torah and in the teachings of Adonai Yeshua, Lord Jesus. Yahweh’s Commanded Will comes to us, not as a request, as a requirement. Obeying His Commanded Will, though, is not a requirement for Salvation, since that is a gift to us, when we step forward to receive His Grace. However, when we do not obey His Commanded Will, we open our hearts and souls to rebellion, a grievous sin, and there will be consequences. But, let’s not dwell on the negative; let’s examine more closely, through Scripture, this aspect of Yahweh’s Sovereign Will.
In Torah, the first five books of the Bible, we find the Ten Commandments, contained in Exodus 20. These may be divided into two major categories: loving God with all our hearts, minds and strength and loving our neighbours as ourselves. These understandings were reinforced by Adonai Yeshua, as we read in Matthew 22.
The majority of God’s 613 commands in Torah are directed to Levites, the Temple workers, and the Cohanim, the Temple priests. The remaining 250 (approximately) life instructions are for the people of God, Jew and Gentile. Every writer of the Apostolic Scriptures speaks, in some manner, about following God’s Commanded Will. James, for example, writes most openly and assertively on the connection between our display of faith and the ‘works’ we do. As we read in James 2:17, Thus, faith by itself, unaccompanied by actions, is dead. This follows quite well the Hebraic understanding of faith being active and not passive. If we love God, then it flows quite naturally we will obey His commands. This is His Commanded Will – If you love me, you will keep my commands (John 14:15), very clearly draws the connection regarding our relationship with Yahweh.
Are there consequences for obeying and not obeying God’s Commanded Will? Certainly, for both. When we obey His commands, we enjoy a special relationship with Him, a relationship that others, who are not in Him do not have. We are called Adonai Yeshua’s brothers and sisters, as we are told, in Mark 3:35 – Whoever does what God wants is my brother, sister and mother!
Then, when we obey His commands, we receive a special distinction of being separate from those in rebellion, who disobey His Word. This distinction in outlined for us in Malachi 3:18, wherein we find – Then once again you will see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between the person who serves God and one that doesn’t serve him.
There is a level of contentment, which comes to the obedient, which eludes the disobedient. This is a deep-seated contentment, as opposed to the surface ‘happiness’ sought by non-believers. We read of this in Matthew 25:23 – You have been faithful with a small amount, so I will put you in charge of a large amount. Come and join in your master’s happiness!
Finally, there are rewards which come to the obedient. These are in the form of blessings now and in the future, as we read in Colossians 3:23,24 – Whatever work you do, put yourself into it, as those who are serving not merely other people, but Adonai. Remember that as your reward, you will receive the inheritance from Adonai Elohim.
Now, what are the consequences of not fulfilling the Commanded Will of God? When one does not obey God, then s/he is in rebellion and, as we read many times throughout Scripture, rebellion is sin. James speaks of this is his 1st Chapter, verses 14,15 – Rather, each person is being tempted whenever he is being dragged off and enticed by the bait of his own desire. Then, having conceived, the desire gives birth to sin; and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. In 1 Samuel 15:23, we read – For rebellion is like the sin of sorcery, stubbornness like the crime of idolatry. In this verse, the prophet clearly indicates how serious Yahweh perceives rebellion and stubbornness, born of pride.
Beloved, each one of us has a choice to make: Am I going to follow the Commanded Will of the Living God or am I going my own way – the way of rebellion and sin.
CONSIDER: What choice will you make? What way will you follow? If you choose the Way of YHVH, then you understand the benefits that will accrue to you; likewise, if you choose to follow your own way, then you understand the consequences, which will follow such a choice.
ACT: Choose wisely, for there is no fence-sitting; there are no neutral grounds in this choice moment.
PRAY: Beloved Abba, I do want to follow Your Way, yet I am weak and easily led astray. I pray, Abba B’Shamayim, the Ruler of the Universe, for your leadership and guidance, so I may make the right choice. In Your Blessed Name I pray.
May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.