Don’t you just love how simple God makes things?
It’s not to the wise that the mysteries of the kingdom are revealed. It’s to the hungry and humble — those who take the posture of children (see Matthew 11:25).
More than that, shortly after Jesus fed the 5,000 with just three loaves and two fish, this same multitude began following Him because He filled their stomachs and asked Him a very poignant and important question — one we need to wrestle with and whose answer we desperately need to understand.
28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” — John 6:28-29
Here, in Jesus’ very words, lies the power of simplicity.
Believe in Him.
Too often, we reduce those three words to simply acknowledging His existence.
We treat them like a head nod to His actuality.
For many, to say that they believe in Him is to say that they believe He’s real, that He is alive, that He is who He said He was, and that He did what He did and said what He said.
My dear friends, I’d like to suggest that there is a greater depth of meaning to those three words — a depth where freedom swims and striving ceases… a depth where we can find rest and truly delight in God.
To believe in Him is not merely limited to accepting the truth of His existence. Rather, to believe in Him is to believe in His capacity to perform everything He said He’d do and to keep every promise He’s ever made.
In short, it is to believe in His ability, NOT yours.
Only God can do in you and through you what God has required.
Make no mistake, believing = rest.
When you and I don’t believe, we work. Our lack of trust results in us seeking to do by the strength of our own flesh what only God’s Spirit can do.
Change will only be permanent in our lives when it’s wrought by the Spirit of God.
At best, our efforts can only manage what we’d like to overcome or see formed in our lives.
And, if we are honest, frustration tends to be the fruit of self-effort.
We wind up embittered with ourselves when we fail and we feel good about ourselves only when we succeed.
That’s a roller coaster ride I’d rather not pay to get on.
There is no amount of trying that will form Christ in you, but submission will.
O how freeing it is to know that only God can do what He’s promised to do.
O how wonderful it is to submit to Him and humble myself before Him.
And O how sweet it is to say to Him, “Lord, I want in my life what You want in my life. I realize that only You can give me what I’m after. I understand that only You can finish what You started. My only part, Jesus, is to say, ‘Yes’ to You and to delight myself in You. It’s in this place where I find that You give me the desire of my heart — the desire to look like You.”
Believe in Him.
Three words… Three words that eliminate self-effort, provoke peace, and quiet the soul.
O to know this freedom… O to possess this trust.
I pray today that you, dear reader, would experience the heavy burden of striving being lifted off your shoulders. I pray that your soul would find rest and that quiet stillness would wash over you. I set you free of self-effort in Jesus’ name.
Yield to Him. That is all.
Prostrate your heart before Him and meditate on His kind intentions towards you.
The lower you go, the higher He lifts you up in Himself.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds Ministries