During the past few years I’ve been hearing a curious message commonly preached by many bible teachers, especially those on television. They assert that Christian believers have the right to make demands of God, to “command” Him to do things. They site Isaiah 45:11, “ Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.”
When we read the entire chapter of Isaiah 45 in context it is clear that the relationship between God and man, His creation, is one of master and servant. Isaiah emphasizes the audacity of the creature who argues and rebels against his Maker, and the clay that fights with him who forms it.
We are not to fight with the Lord over His actions and decisions, nor are we to question Him on what He has made us to be. None of these warnings indicate that we have the authority or the right to order God about. In fact, it teaches the opposite. We are to accept His actions and not argue with Him concerning them.
Why the word ‘command’ then?
When we command someone to do something, we are actually accomplishing that thing through the actions of the other person.
We have only One Source:
When God says, “command ye me”, in context of the entire chapter, God is saying that He is the only God and Creator and source of truth. There is none else to whom we can go to find help. There is no other source of truth or salvation. If you want to know the truth about your current circumstances or the future, then your only source of help is the God of creation. If you want to influence the events of heaven and earth, then come to the only One who can really make things happen.
We must have the right attitude:
Through Jesus Christ, we have been given access to the throne room of the Most Holy God. However, this has not given us the right to waltz in there and start making demands. We must continue to have sincere reverence for God the Father. Moses approached God with deep reverence and respect when he interceded for the rebellious nation of Israel. Abraham, Isaac, and the other men of faith demonstrated a similar attitude. Paul, John and other New Testament Christians did not go around commanding God or shouting demands, nor did they teach believers that this is an acceptable attitude towards God.
We must be aligned with the Word:
In essence, when we pray and ask God to do something, and He does it, we are in effect commanding Him. However, we command only what He has told us to command and given us the gift of faith to command.
Believers have been given the authority or the right to use the same power that Jesus had and we must keep in mind that the purpose of God’s power has always been, and will always be, to further His Kingdom, not our own.