“What should we do then?” the crowd asked. John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” Luke 3:10-11
When the Baptizer came announcing the coming of God’s kingdom and the need to have a change of mind (i.e. repent), those who listened to him asked a sensible question: “What should we do?” This is the very same question that was asked years later when Peter told the Jerusalem crowd that they had killed the Messiah and that He had been resurrected. They asked anxiously, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).
As disciples of Jesus, we are very eager to learn about the larger and broader truths about God and His kingdom, but we cannot escape the essential question that arises with each new discovery of what’s true: What shall we do? We need to respond to things that are true, of course, but we don’t always know what the proper response is.
When you read the Scriptures, hear it taught, or discuss it with other disciples, I encourage you to develop the habit of asking this simple but profound question: What shall we do? Believing what the Master or His servants said, we want to live like it’s true, and this question can be the beginning of doing so.
The answer to this question will always be specific, and the specifics are really very important. John told the crowd to give extra clothes and food to those who lacked them. He told the tax collectors not to collect any more than they were required to. His instructions to the soldiers in the crowd were simply to be fair, honest and content with their pay. When Peter was asked by the Jerusalem crowd, he told them to do two specific things: repent and be baptized in Jesus’ name.
Sometimes others can help you identify the specific thing(s) you should do in response to God’s Word, and if you are building healthy relationships with other disciples, this will be an essential benefit to you. Still, there will be times when you must simply call on the Spirit to open your eyes to what must be done. If you trust Him to do this, He will. After all, He has more interest in your maturity and growth than even you have. If you are seeking clarity about how to more fully obey, you can count on Him to do His part to provide it.
The Word, the Spirit, and the church body are the three great gifts that the Master has wisely and generously provided to ensure that you can become more like Him. One of the reliable ways they do this is to show you what you should do in response to His truths, and when they do, be sure to do it. Asking, “What should we do?” is one thing; doing it is quite another. This is where true trust will be on display, for it is in doing what you know to do that you will find freedom to become – really become – who you are meant to be. Whatever it is, do the specific good He leads you to do, and you will truly learn the deeper things He desires to teach you. Forgiveness is best learned in the process of forgiving that particular person. Generosity is best learned in the process of giving up that particular thing to benefit that particular person. I can testify: it works for any area He would have you grow in. As in so many things, doing is the heart of learning
Learning and doing with you,