THE GREAT QUESTION AND THE SIMPLE ANSWER

May 28, 2024

THE GREAT QUESTION AND THE SIMPLE ANSWER

 

Some questions are more important than others. "What are we having for supper?" is less critical than "What will I do with my life?"

The disciples posed a foundational question to Jesus in John 6:28:

Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do so that we may work the works of God?"

This is what any serious follower of Christ wants to know. "I don't want to go through my life and not cooperate with God in His work. How do I get in on that? How can I so live that I am accomplishing God's work, not my own?"

They had walked with Jesus long enough to get a taste of a man "working the works of God." "How do we do what you're doing in the way you're doing it?" they cried.

A SIMPLE ANSWER

As usual, Jesus boiled it down to a sentence. In fact, a word.

"This is the work of God: believe in Him whom He has sent" (John 6:29).

"Believe" is the operative word we most confuse and neglect. It is not mere head knowledge. Of the Gospel writers, Matthew uses the verb ten times, Mark ten, Luke nine, and John ninety-nine times!

Believe means to trust, rely on, place your faith in, commit to. It is to change your whole mode of operation from self-dependency to God-dependency.

God is on a relentless mission to move us from independence (which began in the Garden) to dependence. We need to get back where we belong—back to moving in sync with God, united with Him, and doing His work.

To not believe in Him is to do life ourselves. We are trusting in our ability, our power, our thoughts. "Paul would call it "putting confidence in the flesh" in Philippians 3.

Trusting Him is an entirely new way of operating, and it brings Jesus into the equation. We are no longer doing our works but His. We are no longer limited by our insufficient power but by His inexhaustible energy. We no longer draw only from our limited store but rest in the inexhaustible resources of God.

Want to work the works of God? Believe.

THE HOURLY QUESTION

To help us, God has made every circumstance of life and moment of every day about faith. “Without faith,” He says, “It is impossible to please God. For he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who trust Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Right before this moment, the disciples were faced with an impossible dilemma: a crowd of 5,000+ who needed to be fed. Jesus knew this was not about fish but faith, so He asked Philip where they would get bread, and then Scripture recorded the point of the exercise.

This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. (John 6:6)

Jesus, as a man on earth, was about to trust His Father and see a miracle, and He was inviting Philip to join Him. Everything is about this faith agenda with God.

The question then comes for us in every endeavor, every day: Am I in a position of faith right now? Am I depending? Am I trusting in Him? Is what I'm thinking of doing my idea or His? Is this God-initiated and God empowered?

Such a life, of course, is marked by humility, a voracious study of God's Word (to hear from Him in this connection), and unceasing prayer. A man who is not praying is saying that he thinks he can go a day, week, or lifetime without Christ. Prayer is the great indicator of dependency.

Jesus said, "Apart from Me, you can do nothing" (John 15:4-5). If I am not operating in dependence, I have no chance of doing God-work. But connected to Him, I can have every joyful expectation of a Divinely effective life!

 





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