Our Modus Operandi for Life


Above all, cultivate intimacy with God. Get close; get to know Him. Then you can begin to say, “I do nothing by myself.”

The Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. (John 5:19) 

This was Jesus’ modus operandi, and it profoundly changed the world. He observed the Father, and then did whatever the Father was doing. And the implication of his teaching is that this is to be our modus operandi too (Luke 6:40). As he is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).

The problem is that we don’t always see what the Father is doing. We may suspect what he’s doing or impose our own expectations on him, but do we really see? That requires a focused spiritual life and a willingness to be surprised with revelation from him. But if we ask—if we pursue this kind of sight—we can envision his work much more clearly. Then we can do as he does.

That’s really the way we were meant to live. Many Christians read the Bible with a focus on instructions. “What am I supposed to do?” That’s good, but doing the right things isn’t the primary focus of a relationship. Love and friendship are. Action flows from intimacy, not the other way around.

Above all, cultivate intimacy with God. Get close. Know him. Learn to see what he’s doing. Then you can begin to say with the Son, “I do nothing by myself.” You’ll not only know God’s word, you’ll be focused on its author. And living from that relationship accomplishes much more than simply trying to follow instructions.

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