Spring and summer is upon us and with it comes a list of things to do. In following the Lord, we also get a to-do list and a not-to-do list. Often with more emphasis on the 'not-to-do list'. This not only invites rebellion, but can lead to condemnation. These things short circuit the power of God in our lives, preventing us from doing the 'to-do list' successfully. Focus on doing the "do's," and you will not do the "don't's".
Let's look at I Thessalonians 5:15-22 [amplified version]. Here is a 'to do list' that will keep one far away from trouble and problems. Verse 15 says, 'See that none of you repays another with evil for evil, but always aim to show kindness and seek to do good to one another and to everybody.' Approach every one with the thought of blessing them, no matter what they did or said to you. For our heavenly father acts and thinks this way towards us. Jeremiah 29:11 says, 'For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.'
In verse 16 it says, 'Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always).' So lift up your hands and shout," Praise The Lord, God is so good to me!" This keeps you strong and unmovable in this life. Nehemiah 8:18 says, '... for the joy of the Lord is your strength.'
In verse 17 it says, 'Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly].' Stand in faith believing what the Word of God says in prayer, until the answer shows up. In Mark 11:23 Jesus says, "...and he shall have whatsoever he saith."
In verse 18 it says, 'Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [The Revealor and Mediator of that will].' We are not to be thankful for the negative and evil things. We are to be thankful for the promises and the goodness of God. If you are weak, say "I am strong in the Lord." If you are sick, say "By Christ's stripes I am healed." If you are in lack, say "God is providing abundantly for me."
In verses 19-20 it says, 'Do not quench (surpress or subdue) the [Holy] Spirit. Do not spurn the gifts and utterances of the prophets [do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhorting or warning].' Check everything you hear by the Word of God. Check your own heart to see if that word brings life and blessing or not. Stay teachable and humble. The best way to flow with the Spirit of God, is to be a doer of the Word of God (James 1:22).
In verse 21 it says, 'But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.' We are encouraged in Hebrews 10:23 says, 'Let us hold fast the profession of our hope without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised).' Hold fast to God's Word no matter what may come your way. John 8:32 Jesus says, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
In verse 22 it says, 'Abstain from evil [shrink from it and keep aloof from it] in whatever form or whatever kind, it may be.' You will be swimming up stream on this one. You may even find yourself standing alone. James 4:4 says, '..... know not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?' We must stay on God's side on all the issues of life in these last days. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, 'I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:'
What is the benefit if one consistently does this to-do list in their life. Look at I Thessalonians 5:23,24 it says, 'And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.' This to-do list will set you free, not stress you out.
Meditate Joshua 1:8