Impossible Commands

Have you ever noticed that the message our world almost force feeds us is that we can do whatever we want? Celebrities stand on stages and tell us that if you just put your mind to it you can do the impossible. But is that really true?

Because this is the message that we are being told over and over again by the world, Christians can be tempted to approach the Bible with the same mentality.  We can read Scripture and see the commands and think “Yeah, I can do that. I can work hard enough, be good enough and do what the Bible says”. That’s why we need this book!

Jonty has written an absolutely phenomenal book about the beauty of the impossible commands in Scripture. He says…

“Impossible” is a word that must be part of our Christian vocabulary. I’m not talking about a defeatist small-minded negativity. I’m talking about a realistic and resolute honesty. And here is why this matters so much: it’s only when you embrace the impossibility that you are standing right on the very edge of true freedom.

When we read the Bible there are so many commands that seem impossible for us to obey, and that is a beautiful thing. Do you know why? Because it means that we are weak, it means that we are insufficient by ourselves and it means that we need someone who is not! The beauty of Christian honesty in relation to commands in the Bible leads us not to despair, but it forces us to run to God. He is the only one who can do all things!

This book walks through 10 different commands in Scripture that are ‘impossible’. Jonty walks through every command with four steps which help you understand the beauty of the impossible: I can’t, I’m sorry, please help and let’s go.

How can a loving God give us commands that are impossible for us? How can a loving God set the bar so high? Here’s Jonty’s response…

Jesus loves us far too much to stroke our egos and tell us how fabulous we are. Instead, he issues commands that are far beyond our ability to obey in order to drive us to him. 

One of the things that I really like about this book is that it tackles some of the many misconceptions that Christians have when it comes to forgiveness and many other topics. I’ve met many people who feel that they need to pretend their OK or work themselves to burn out to ‘earn forgiveness’ in a strange roundabout way. Here’s another crackin’ quote that tackles that one…

If you have confessed your sin, then you are forgiven. You are justified before God. You do not have to justify yourself. Your worth and value do not flow out of your obedience but out of what Jesus Christ has done for you. This is why we no longer have to flatter ourselves and pretend everything is ok. Jesus loves you when you were at your worst. He is able to deal with your failure. 

This is the beauty of the gospel! Yet, we so easily forsake it and chase after other things.

Rather than being captivated by the Creator God who loves us, we chase after other things that ensnare us with their offers of satisfaction. And let’s not think that it’s ok to try and do both – to keep loving God but to add some idol-worship on the side.

And another…

As you make the decision to love God, you are not sacrificing any hope of a happy life. You are embracing the life that you were made for and the Father who loves you.

I could go on and on. To illustrate how great this book is I’ll let you into a little secret; I never ‘dog ear’ my books. I like them to be in good condition and look nice. But this book is filled with such good content that I had no choice. I’ve highlighted, I’ve dog eared the pages and I even bent the spine!

I highly recommend this book because it is real, it touches on issues that we all face when we read certain commands in the Bible (for example: rejoice always, serve wholeheartedly, be perfect, keep meeting together). If you’ve ever read the Bible and though ‘that is an impossible command!’ read this book!

I could talk about this book for a long time, but I need to stop typing. How about you buy a copy here and comment below or send me an email with your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you!

Rating 5/5 (I’d give more if I could!)

Jonty Allcock is pastor at the Globe Church in central London. He is married to Linda and loves being a dad to three sons. Jonty is the author of Impossible Commands, Lost, Hero and Fearless.

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