I make lists more often than I eat meals. I make lists of random futuristic goals, I make unrealistic lists about things I’ll do today, I make bucket lists, I make lists of positive things to tell my kid, I make lists of people to reach out to in order to remind them I do not in fact hate them - I am simply a hermit - and I hope they are happy and breathing and all that jazz. I make lots of lists.
There’s one list I don’t make anymore though. Maybe it is just a season, or maybe I will do this for life, but I am not currently working off of a list of ways to grow/serve/be like Jesus. I’m not working on my pride, I’m not seeking humility, I’m not trying to sand down my iron will, I’m not striving to produce fruit, I’m not wearing myself out with service projects – I’m not.
Jesus told us not to work for food that spoils, but for food that endures for eternity. The hearers of these words, naturally, asked what work they needed to do to get this eternal food. Jesus responded with a list of works they could do to earn it. (John 6:27-29)
1. Believe in the one God sent.
End of list.
It can seem too easy. After all, of course I believe in Jesus. Check. Got it. Moving on. What’s next? Pride, you’re going down. Humility – I’m coming for you. Fruit – I’m going to produce more fruit than a ten-acre orchard, hold on while I make a list about it. Service projects – where you at?
Believe in Him. Done and Done. Or is it?
Do I believe in Him?
Do I believe it is finished? If I do, why do I still get caught up trying to be “good enough” as if I could earn salvation?
Do I believe I am dead and I am living new life? Why do I still catch myself putting my own feelings and wants ahead of others.
Do I believe everything around me is temporary and I am made to live for eternity? Why do I still accumulate temporary stuff and accomplishments?
Do I believe I can and will love Him no matter the cost? Why do I still spend more time pleasing people than Him?
Do I know His voice? Why do I still strain and question when I’m listening for an answer to prayer?
My lists of works to do for eternity is now this – Believe in Him. Believe in Him in every moment. Believe in Him in every situation, in every relationship, in ever hardship. Believe in Him when I’m filled with joy and when I’m filled with pain. Believe when people love me and when people hate me.
It’s a short list, but it’s the only one I need. Believe in the one God sent.