|Posted on May 11, 2020 at 8:05 PM|
Re-post of an earlier Arnion Ministries' blog post.
For I delight in your commands because I love them.
Praise the Lord, Beloved of God,
Have you ever heard the statement, “You learn when you teach”? As an educator, I know this is true. There is so much knowledge, data, and information out there! I need a classroom environment conducive to learning for my 6th grade students. We promote Best Behavior standards in our classroom. One strategy I have learned of looks at behavior commands: Alpha Commands versus Beta Commands. For our purposes, I will look at Alpha commands because that is what caught my eye. I saw some connections that I will share.
Uses a minimal number of words
Clear, concrete, specific
Offers a choice when possible
Reasonable amount of time for behavior to occur
When I read this I thought,” God gives US “Alpha Commands”! That makes sense, after all, He is the Alpha and the Omega, and everything in between. Bless God! Let me show you what I mean. Alpha Commands use a minimal number of words. Abba Father does that:
1 Peter 1:15
But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living.
Yes! I would say that is an alpha command for our behavior. Or how about this one for a minimal number of words:
I John 5:21
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
That is short, sweet, and to the point. To obey it is to change some behaviors, for sure! Here are a few more:
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Alpha commands, one and all, from the Spirit of God! And meant for our good. Moving on to the next category, Alpha Commands are clear concrete, and specific. Yes, they are:
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
That scripture meets the criteria! God commanded and it was done. Period! Clear, concrete, and specific. What about this behavior changing Alpha Command:
29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
We are not to worry about life’s basics. Abba Father knows exactly what you and I need. Do you want to live out of the kingdom within you? These are clear, concrete commands. Alpha Commands! Seek the things of God first, seek His Kingdom. Abba specifically says He takes pleasure in giving us the Kingdom. I have said it before: Everything we need is in the Kingdom of God within us! God help us to receive that truth more profoundly! Amen. Of course, most of us think of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 when we connect Commandments with God. The ultimate alpha commands! But they are summed up so simply, so “clear, concrete, and specific” in the “Golden Command”:
Matthew 22:36 - 40
36"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
We are to love God spirit, soul, and body! It is so easy to love God! He is so wonderful, and faithful, and merciful, and beautiful, and good, and kind, and generous,….I could go on and on. So could you! The Ten Commandments are embedded in loving our neighbor as ourselves. Matthew 22:36-40 is an alpha command, par excellence! The fact is, God is the creator of alpha commands. There are many thoughts and strategies used in secular arenas that come straight out of the eternal principals of the Holy Bible. The Holy scriptures are full of godly wisdom to help us walk out our lives in such a way as to please our Father in heaven. That is why He commands “keep yourselves from idols” and to not put anything before Him. Let us “diligently keep” our hearts and make time to read the Bible daily! That leads me to another alpha command characteristic: It offers a choice when possible:
Deuteronomy 30:19 (The Message)
19-20 I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today: I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to him, firmly embracing him. Oh yes, he is life itself, a long life settled on the soil that God, your God, promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
God gives us a choices. We have free will to choose life or death, blessings or curses. “Choose life” says God, that the Abrahamic covenant blessings from which we are to partake come upon you. Love, embrace and obey God! That, too, is our choice:
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Choices Beloved! I am joining in with Joshua, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Those words are framed and hanging on my wall as I type! Obeying God’s commands leads to Deuteronomy 28: 1-14 “blessed coming out, and blessed coming in.” The choice is ours. I admit I wondered if this teaching was too “elementary” as Apostle Paul wrote. Even a baby Christian knows we are to obey God. Is this the “milk” of the Word and not the “meat” a mature Christian need? But that is just it! We think we already know that, “I have already heard that.” You have heard it, but are you doing it? The Bible says, “ Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.” (I Cor. 8:1 -3). Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up and encourages one to grow up to his full stature in Christ Jesus. Only God knows it all! This is what He impressed upon me and so I share. I tell my students that it is sometimes the “easy” skills that trip them up. Why? Because they get careless, lax, skip steps. “Oh, yeah! I forgot to simplify the fraction.” We need to “simplify”, too. It’s been said, “God makes it easy, man makes it hard.” I have to believe there is a reason Abba has us looking at his “alpha commands” and is reminding us to obey them. If we love Him. Perhaps it is this last alpha command characteristic: Give a reasonable amount for behavior to occur.
Isaiah 55:6 (Amplified Bible)
Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while He may be found [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; call upon Him while He is near
Now is the day of Salvation! (II Cor 6:2 ;Gen. 6:3), and God will not strive with man forever.
“But I am saved!”, you say. That is not what Father is speaking of today. It is the engrafted Word of God which is able to save our souls. Our souls: the seat of our emotions, feelings, and thoughts. And in turn our actions and creative words. The Word Abba is emphasizing today is “obey my commands.” Obey from a heart of love:
1 John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
To one who loves him keeping His commands is not troublesome, burdensome, or oppressive. You know, dear ones, God alone knows why He is stressing this point to us. I have come to know that we must love God the way he desires and needs to be loved! As we wrote earlier, love, obey and embrace Him. It is so simple and Abba Father is sharing His heart with us. There may even be an element of a warning! Let us take heed and “hear the conclusion of the whole matter” with one of my favorite passages of scripture ( emphasis mine):
Ecclesiastes 12:13 (Amplified Bible)
All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God's providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.
Prophetess Vickie Lee