The Hindering Checklist

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1. The misleading checklist

What’s the point of a checklist? If we’re honest, we use it as a means of fulfillment, that we ‘got something done’. But so much of what is on a checklist is meaningless and not glorifying to God. Most that is meaninglessness can all be summed up into one word: “Shop” (this is a misleading thesis as the rest of this article is not at all about shopping..); but in reality if anything isn’t bringing us closer to God, it is bringing us farther away and is, therefore, meaningless (or for God’s sake, worse than meaningless!)

Here’s the typical Bible study: scripture memory, read a certain passage for it, and pray. That’s a checklist. Everything is a checklist. Why do we have checklists? Jesus never had a checklist for us, He said to keep following Him our whole lives. We don’t get a break. If you’re following Jesus, when He stops to rest, you stop, when He starts, you start. There’s nothing to check off. He should be in complete control of our lives at all times. For we are wired with a desire to pursue Him our whole lives without ever reaching perfection.

2. The Dialogue

Person 1: “I’m going to church this week, therefore, I’m a good Christian and don’t have to worry about not being a good Christian for the rest of the week.”

Person 2:“Wrong.”

P1:“Oh, really? Okay, then I’ll do mid-week Bible study”

P2: “Good, but wrong.”

P1: “Really? Okay..I guess I could start serving and be a deacon”

P2: “Good, but wrong.”

P1: “Alright fine, I’ll give 10% of my money”

P2: “Good, but wrong.”

P1: “Bring my kids to church?”

P2: “No, although all those things are good. What you need to do is make Him Lord of your life. He must infiltrate and be Lord of all your days. Pray without ceasing. (1 Thes 5:17). Seek His will. Read His Word as often you can and make as much time for Him as you can.”

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3. Giving Him 100% of our lives/handing over the keys

Any kind of checklist is offensive to God. Many think if they’re giving God an hour of quiet time a day, then they’re home free; but Jesus wants to be a part of everything and every part of our lives. We should be spending 100% of the time with Him, seeking God’s will and being careful where we step (Proverbs 4:25-27)

Jesus wants to drive our car, not be in the passenger seat. We must pray that He will infiltrate every part of our lives and desire for Him to do so. We must desire His will and not our own and seek out things to give to Him, rather than find excuses to get as close to the sin-line as possible. Ie “Well the Bible is kind of unclear with that..”

We must turn from our selfish desires and checklists we’ve made solely as excuses to go back to our fleshly, worldly lived lives and, rather, seek His business (Luke 2:49)

4. Applying it

If we aren’t applying what we’ve learned in church and Bible study(only a fraction of our lives), what’s the point? (James 1:22, 2:19)

It’s almost as if we think we’ll get brownie points for doing a bunch of Christian things. These things are good steps, but if a Bible study is convincing us all we need to do is read a particular chapter of a book or even an entire book of the Bible, we’ve missed it. There is no checklist. God wants us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him always (Luke 9:23). Do the checklist, and then do more. Read the Bible, and then read it again. We can’t ‘check the Bible off’ unless we’ve memorized and applied the entire thing, and become sinless.

We must pray fervently for the desire and the fire to know God more, both in our friends, in our enemies, and in ourselves. Then, it will become natural to give everything to Him.

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