When all is said and done…
“The work of God for you” replied Jesus, is to believe in the one whom He has sent to you” – John 6. Philips
The disciples had just asked Jesus “What must we do to carry out the work of God”.
On the surface its a really good question, seemingly. The disciples are expressing their desire to carry out the work of God. Sure, they would have mixed motives. But lets be generous to them – they had just seen Jesus feed 5000 men, walk upon the raging sea, and the boat they were in mysteriously transported to their destination.
The people had responded to the dispaly of the miraculous by wanting to make Him king, and so Jesus had gone off on His own. Its at this point that, after the searching disciples had found Him that they ask Jesus their question – “What must we do to carry out the work of God? ”
Jesus had a different agenda. We must learn to hear His agenda through the rush of our own. I am with the disciples. I want to carry out the work of God. And I would have said that the work of God is all that “Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” stuff. But, as so always is the case, I would be looking at from a fleshy perspective. Like them, I wanted to be going out all guns blazing, making a difference, seeing the captives go free.
But Jesus has a difference idea – the work of God for the disciples, at that time, was nothing more than to believe in the “Sent One”. To look at Jesus and to believe Him. Nothing more. No “Go and do this” or “Take this ministry”. The other stuff clearly came – look at the disciples later on – their relationship with Jesus changes (servants to friends), and after Pentecost they see dramatic warfare. But it looks like, at that stage the emphasis was on “believe in the one that God has sent to you.”
You don’t have to be “Mr Discerning” to sense in the church a great frustration at its powerlessness. We hear of great break through, but its always somewhere else. Every so often Here, we get “glimpses of glory”. The frustration is everywhere – in the homegroup I run, in the Healing Group I take part in, on podcasts I listen to. Some people call this “Holy Frustration” which has always seemed like an odd idea to me.
So, maybe for us our work at the moment is to “Believe in the Sent One”. Could it be, that we can’t move on to inherit the land until we do this? Might it be beneficial for us to take a step back, and check on our “Belief in the Sent One”? Could it be that we are tyring to build the house without its foundations, or on the sand…