commandments1
In the Old and New Testament, God spells out his desire to bless and protect us if we love Him and others. (creationswap.com)

All agreements have stipulations. They spell out specifically what is expected of each party and what that party agrees to do in return. Could it actually be this way with God and those He loves?

In looking carefully at the Scriptures, God has promised to bless us if we follow His directives—His commands. What are those commands? The most ready answer is the Ten Commandments—how we wish! Start adding them up, and it gets way past 10. It can literally get into the thousands with all the other ordinances. Then we add our own commandments and we are way out of sight with things to do to please God.  

I have no desire to live in Old Testament times. Come to think of it, because of the rules, I have no desire to live in New Testament times either. There are lots of rules today as well. 

Jesus was careful to make sure we understood the essence of the old covenant as well as the new. In both agreements, God simply put forth the most reasonable and understandable stipulations. First, for His part, He would bless us. Second, He would protect us. This is the theme of Genesis—blessing and protection. All He asked in return was that we love (respect) Him and love (respect) others.  

If you have in mind that we are to love God as He asks and you don’t understand love to be respect, how are you going to love someone you don’t know very well? If the word love is correctly translated to mean an action rather than a feeling, the fulfillment is much easier. I don’t have to try to love someone I am not familiar with as yet. These are not my words, but rather the teachings of Jesus when He affirmed that all of the law and the prophets can be condensed into loving God and loving others.  

Why, then, so many rules? That’s easy for someone as thick-headed as me. I need everything spelled out in detail. 

So, then, the entire essence of a relationship with God is spelled out in two things He will do and two things I am to do. (These things are not works; they are the actions of any relationship.) However, Adam left me with an immense amount of his rebellion. I love myself too much to want to give very much away. I would like the blessings and the protection but not the commitment—at least, not until I’ve had time to enjoy life a bit. And that attitude would have remained with me the rest of my unhappy life if it were not for God’s love spelled out in Jesus—that is, Jesus on the cross.  
 
Looking at God’s plan and what He asks is far different than what the devil has in mind in trying to convince us that he can be trusted for his knowledge. God is the good God He says He is, often only known because of experience in life and from the Holy Spirit.  

If I were sitting beside you as you read this and you didn’t understand God’s love, I would try my best to convince you. It probably would start with the fact that God has proven His love through the blood of Jesus. But I have some reservations as to how effective I would be. That is why a loving God wants to show you Himself. That way you will be forever convinced that a relationship with Father God through Jesus outweighs any other option.  

As you think about this, even as a Christian who simply wants to draw closer to God, it is good to contemplate the reason we have access to the Father: “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19). A holy God has made a way into His presence through Christ’s blood. This is our opportunity to come without the slightest hesitation.  

The point of Jesus’ blood must be well understood or our fellowship with God in prayer will be hindered. Hebrews reminds us that it is not by “works of righteousness” that we come but by the sacrifice of blood offered by Jesus in order to make a way to enter into the wonderful reality of God’s presence. In the end, you get God. And you get blessings and protection, especially protection from the enemy of our soul along the way. And what could be better than the privilege of loving God and others?

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13). 

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14). 

Ray Beeson is the founder of Overcomer Ministries, a teaching ministry with a special emphasis on spiritual warfare and prayer. He is the author of numerous books, including his latest, Signed in His Bloodwhich released March 4. 

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Watch for these danger signals for choosing poorly.

    4 Signs You're Making a Bad Decision

    Avoid distraction and disappointment by testing your choices with these 4 principles.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit