“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14
My Mom is the biggest keeper of lists I have ever known. She has a list for just about everything. As kids, my brother and I had our own lists. Not lists we kept. Lists she kept for us. Had to get our lists examined each night after dinner before we were excused from the table. How much had we accomplished? Thankfully, I don’t remember. Doubtful I kept up with my Mom’s meticulous super organized lists.
If you want to know the truth, I’m the polar opposite. Hate lists. Make me feel confined. Limited. Controlled. Hampered. Hindered. I’m a passionate creative type who thrives off what once was going with the flow and now is going with the Spirit of God. Following Him. Nothing wrong with lists, mind you. I think they’re fantastic. Fabulous. Wonderful. For numerous reasons. With one exception. Which brings me to this.
One day I decided to write a little list. Tried to hear God. Tried to write down what I believe He told me. Then I went back to the list with a little prayer.
“If anything on that list is from you [Lord], I pray you would lead me to it and lead me through it,” I prayed.
So what’s the problem? And why was I led to pray that little prayer? Trouble is lists are a wide open opportunity for our flesh (i.e. self), the world (others), and the devil (ugh!) to take up residence. Just because we write a list doesn’t mean everything on it let alone anything on it is from the Lord!
I prayed that prayer on one of the seldom days I decided to write a list because I was concerned I might have placed stuff on that list God in fact didn’t want me to do at least on that particular day. I wanted to be careful to not plunge ahead into the day not following the Spirit of God but following my flesh, the world, and/or the devil.
If the truth be told, if the Lord shined His light on all the lists of all the people around the world, including your lists and any I choose to write, here’s what I wonder. How much of what occupies the space on our lists is truly from the Lord? Is truly His will? Is truly His plan for us? His agenda? His desire? What pleases Him? His timing? For His purpose? Most importantly, for HIS GLORY?
Is it possible that some if not much if not most if not even all of what is on our lists is not from God? Because we haven’t taken the time to seek Him? To hear Him? To discern what is truly His will? And to be willing to put what He desires on our list so we can obey Him?
Oh, how careful we must be with our lists!
Please consider my prayer again. IF anything on that list is from you…. First, then, we should see if what we place on our lists is truly from God. Ideally, we should seek the Lord before and/or as we write them! If we have already written them, we should check with the Lord to see if it’s His will that we do what we’ve placed on them. If not, if He shows us otherwise, we should cross off what He doesn’t desire to be there!
Next, I prayed I pray you would lead me to it…. In other words, I entrusted to the Lord He would guide me to what He would want me to do. Then what did I pray? That He would lead me through it. Simply, I prayed to God He would help me discern what was His will and placed my faith in Him He would help me to do whatever His will was.
Why? Why would I pray this? And why do I so very much encourage you if you are a list keeper to consider the lists you write and to seek the Lord in your list keeping? Because God created us to love Him with all our hearts and to love others. He created us to turn from our sins and turn to Christ as Lord who died on the cross for us and was raised from the dead to pay our sin penalty. He created us to love and serve Him and love and serve others. He created us to help others to know and follow Him. He created us to live to honor, praise, obey, serve, worship, and GLORIFY HIM! For anyone keeping lists then, we need to make sure our lists fall in line with this!
For those who keep lists, whether the daily list keepers, whether the extreme list keepers like my beloved Mom, or like the periodic ones like myself, let’s do this with our list keeping. Let’s make sure we strive to keep lists that have the ultimate goal to GLORIFY THE LORD NOW AND FOREVER, AMEN!