Servants of Jesus are captivated by doing what he commands. Right?
Well, recently I’ve been mulling over two kinds of divine commandments—the kind that set a direction, and the kind that shape a moment.
– Direction-setting commands are general: “Love your neighbor.” Moment shaping commands are specific: “Bring a pie next door. Right now.”
– Direction-setting commands are always applicable: “Love the Lord your God.” Moment shaping commands are momentary: You don’t have to bring a pie over every day.
– Direction-setting commands get us moving God’s direction. “Let your light shine.” Moment shaping commands get us following God’s directions. “Shovel Bob’s driveway.”
– Direction-setting commands are written in the word of God. Moment shaping commands are impressed upon our hearts by the Spirit of God.
– Direction-setting commands are about faithfulness to God. Moment shaping commands are about intimacy with God.
– Direction-setting commands are about obedience to the Bible. Moment-shaping commands are about keeping in step with the Spirit.
– There are hundreds of direction-setting commands, and they all exist simultaneously. There are thousands of moment-shaping commands, but they tend to emerge one at a time.
Both are absolutely critical to a life of faith.
The Bible says the path of life is marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1,2). This is another way of saying that our direction is set; we just have to learn to walk in that direction. And then, as we walk in his direction-setting commands, Jesus will give us moment shaping-commands. Instructions that order specific steps within that path. “Since we live in the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:26).
The direction-setting commands form a path with several godly options in any given moment. But the Spirit-led path will sometimes narrow to a single, specific course of action. You can safely assume that if you’re looking to Jesus and he’s not showing you something specific, there must be godly options to pick from. If there’s a specific command to obey, he’ll show you. And he does that, often.