Genesis 17:1 KJV
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
The command God places upon Abraham is shocking. To walk before God is difficult enough, but the Lord adds to it, “and be thou perfect." This is a seemingly impossible assignment. No one has done it previously, Abraham has not done it to this point in his relationship with God and we know that no one but Christ will ever do it. Is God asking Abraham to do something he knows he can't do?
This command is made after Abraham's covenant of faith.
If we were to put it in New Testament terms, after his salvation.
This command comes laid upon the foundation of the power of God
Abraham will not be required to accomplish this assignment in his own power.
Read the command as if it were a destination.
This is the direction Abraham wants to point his life. He won't get there quickly. But it is the port where he will eventually, by the grace of God, arrive.
“…which though... not attainable in this life, is desirable, and is to be had in Christ...
The Christian may press toward this mark, confident of attaining the prize of perfection through the perfect One, Jesus Christ.”