When we first bought our house there was a staircase leading up to the roof. The stairs were dangerous for kids so my husband blocked it off to keep them from getting hurt. Our six-year-old son obeyed that rule, but our little daughter was a different story. From the time she could walk, she went wherever she wanted and she loved going up those stairs.
One evening I was out front talking with a neighbor, my back to the house. The neighbor glanced up and gasped. I turned around to see our eighteen-month-old daughter racing full tilt down the slope of the roof toward a drop off that would seriously injure her, if not worse. A terrifying sight. Once again, she had not listened to her parents admonitions that were in place for her safety.
Following commands is something we all struggle with at times. From the earliest days, mankind has made excuses for disobeying what God asks us to do. Eve ate of the fruit and Adam did likewise. Aaron made a golden calf for the Israelites to worship. The Israelites worshipped the gods of other people. And the list goes on.
What about us today? Do we still chafe at the commands of God?
“Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who delights greatly in His commandments.” Psalm 112:1 (NKJV)
I’ve been pondering this verse. Do I delight in God’s commandments? Obey, maybe. Most of the time. But delight?
Then I consider our social atmosphere and how easy it is to get caught up in self. To demand my rights, sometimes at the cost of others. I hear this all the time from all quarters. My rights. Abusing my rights. I know my rights. Deserve my rights. You’re infringing on my rights.
But what about God? What about His commandments? Are we able to demand our rights and still align with His commandments? Or are we putting self ahead of everything and everyone.
Don’t get me wrong. There are many horrible practices that need changed. There are people being treated unfairly or overlooked. That is never right. Never. God says we are to put one another ahead of ourselves and to love others as we love ourselves.
Maybe we need to veer back to where we can delight in God’s commands. Where we seek Him out first and ask His direction.
To delight: something that gives great pleasure. Extreme satisfaction.
Are we getting great pleasure and satisfaction from thinking on and acting on God’s commands? Or have they become a drudgery or something we follow because we must.
Remember, God doesn’t give empty commands. He gives them for a purpose—for our safety and protection. Because He loves us as our Father and care about our well-being.
When I looked up to see my tiny daughter racing toward the edge of the roof, my heart thudded and I pictured her tumbling off and me unable to help because I was too far away. I managed to get her to stop but she was right at the edge. I had her sit down while her dad hurried to the roof to get her. A disaster was averted but her disobedience could have easily led to severe injury.
When we act without seeking God and considering His commands, we are like that little girl racing toward a drop off. Toward injury or death. God is urging us to seek Him. To follow His commands. To be safe in His care. Because He cares for us.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:6-7 (NKJV)
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” I John 5: 2-3 (ESV)