Lists and Yokes

Last week in my discipleship group, one of my friends opened up about her ongoing struggle with Christianity and the issue of faith and works.  She struggles with the tension of being  saved by grace alone and lists of “to-do’s” that we often hear from the pulpit, in our Bible studies and conversations with other believers.

Lately, I’ve been chewing on the gospels and what Jesus actually says about being a disciple of Jesus.  The one thing our pastor has been saying lately that won’t leave my head is “disciples listen better than they see.”

This is so true because of a number of things.

1. If we listen well, then what we listen to {as opposed to what we simply hear} stays embedded in our minds, hearts and our souls.  We won’t easily forget what we’ve heard when the next thing hits our ears. We won’t despair to the depths that we could when the truth of what we know, defies what we see in front of us.

2. Disciples need to listen better than we see because  if we base everything on what we see, we forget that we rarely are able to see what God sees in the full picture.

3. We need to listen well otherwise, we will forget all that we know and the message become cloudy and overwhelming.  When we hear a command like “practice hospitality,” we begin to add it to or create a new list when the command should really just be an overflow from what we’ve heard in the beginning which is that

We are fully loved and fully welcomed into the Kingdom of God.

4. We have to listen better than we see because there is so much to wrap our minds and hearts around in the person, work, spirit and words of Christ  that if we only go by what we see, we might actually miss it.

5. Disciples listen better than they see because what they’ve heard is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself” and that we love “because He first loved us.”

Every list, every command should be filtered through these.

We live in a world of hurry. We want to get through what we are doing so we can move on to the next thing. It’s why we create lists so we don’t forget what we have to do and where we need to be.  The people of Israel created a golden calf when they couldn’t see God, we create lists when we can’t see Him.  We are used to instant gratification and if the Word and Spirit aren’t measurably changing us, then we panic.

We want a new list.

Or worse yet, we choose to quit.

God’s desire is not just to just change our behaviors but to transform us into His likeness. He speaks of transforming us through

perseverance

endurance

like a runner finishing a race well.

These things take time. And despite what our society tells us, time is on our side.

This thing is eternal.

Do you struggle with creating lists when it comes to following Jesus?  I do.

2 thoughts on “Lists and Yokes

  1. What a great reminder. Suzie you are so gifted in your teaching. Thank you for making yourself available to the Spirit of God and to the women of God. Blessing, Diana

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