Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jesus Threw Away My Lists, part 1

Are you a list person? I am a list person. I love my lists; my to-do list, shopping list, prayer list, project list. Anything I can write down in point form makes me supper happy. I love PowerPoint; organizing my thoughts in such a concise presentation, making everything clear and clean for understanding. Yeah! That`s why I have to be so careful when it comes to God and the Law.

The Law of Moses is pretty simple to understand: Do not Lie, Do Not Steal, Do Not Murder. A nice list, easy to understand but not so easy to follow because of our sin nature. But Jesus came along and he is not so keen on lists. In fact, he has taken us much deeper than the list and causes us to look at our motivation; what we are plugged in to that provokes us to do the things we do. He showed us the greater way. When asked about the greatest law Jesus took us to the deepest place:

Love God and love your others because everything hinges on these two commands.

Now instead of following a list of does and don'ts we are governed and guided by God`s love which provokes us to greater things than the Law of Moses ever could. He also taught us that there is no formula for knowing him and obtaining things from him and there are no special holy places on this earth where must go to have a deeper experience of God. He moved us into a new plane of understanding. When it comes to our relationship with him he took us to a much deeper place:

True worshipers worship the Father in Spirit and truth. These are the worshipers the Father seeks.

No lists here, just freedom in the Spirit to go to the deeper spiritual places with God. To worship God in this spirit opens our eyes of understanding to the depth of his love. Spending time with God in this manner changes us completely and fills us with such an overwhelming love that we begin to appreciate how everything in the universe hinges on the command to love. Our lists begin to look like a pathetic attempt to get close to God as love is the deeper place of motivation.

The Word tells us that what matters to God is a man`s heart. Jesus does not improve our heart condition but he replaces the entire thing with a new one; a new creation. This heart is capable of containing God`s love but we must be willing to completely die to ourselves, our opinions, our thoughts, our desires and allow the Spirit to take us to the depths so we may drink in that love.

Yet I do have a list that I found in the Word of God that will help you in your walk with the Lord. If you can keep this list in mind during your daily walk it will improve your intimacy with God and your service to man. However, before I share this list with you I encourage you to ponder the freedom we have been given in Jesus, the freedom from laws and lists. But also ponder the great responsibility found in love that has been given to us. Re-read 1 Corinthians 13 and begin to appreciate that most of us have yet to come to grips with what Jesus meant when he told us the greatest of the commandments is to love God and others.

I`ll be back with the second part.
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