Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Can Do That

I'm still mulling over John 6:22-33.

For centuries, people have asked the question, "What does God want us to do?" (vs. 28). Oddly enough, most of us ask pastors, parents, relatives, friends and Bible study teachers before turning to the One Who really knows the answer. At least these people recorded in John 6 went straight to the horse's mouth (so to speak). Jesus simply and profoundly answers them: "Believe in the one he has sent." So simple. So direct. So uncluttered with "to do" lists. Too elementary for most of us. We think God wants our hands and feet first. Doing stuff. Nope. It's our hearts and minds he desires, because he knows the rest of us will follow if he has that much (see Luke 6:45).

Yet, as typical humanity, we play the "tit for tat" game. "You must show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What will you do for us?" (vs. 30). As if giving us our very lives and breath for the moment isn't sufficient enough. We are a demanding creation, aren't we? Never satisfied with how we got what we got, we need a more impressive way of getting more. Then, we'll be confident in the character and provision of God.

And all the while, Jesus is simply saying, "Believe."

We all need this reminder from time-to-time, because people will occasionally say our efforts at obedient ministry have been insufficient according to their standards. I know I'm certainly not the only one who has felt the sting of not "measuring up" to religious rule-makers. Honestly, in those times, I'm tempted to look at God and say, "Fix this situation, and then I'm trust your character." But he has proven so faithful - he sacrificed himself - what further evidence do I really need? His grace is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9) and his love unfailing (Ps. 59:10). I'm so imperfect, those others may be right in their assessment of me, but each of us can only obey to the best of our ability, and stand accountable to God alone.

I'm so thankful that the One Who is the Judge of all humanity, space and time has made our job so simple. He says to us, "Believe in the one [I] sent." Direct. Uncluttered. Elementary.

Believe? OK. I can do that.

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