John 6:28-29. "Therefore they said to Him, 'What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.'"
I'm searching, constantly searching. Searching for a way to do the work of God. Wondering what I can do, beating myself up when I don't do it, packing the works of myself into my life instead of the work of God.
The work of God is that I believe; believe in Him whom He sent, believe the Gospel.
Simple. The rest comes, but the rest is not the work. In fact, that's just what it is...rest. Resting in God, resting in His presence. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Doing His work shouldn't be difficult, and it's not. Doing what you think is His work is difficult. Trying to find satisfaction in things that never satisfy is hard. But the choice to believe, the constant remembering what I believe, is the work that He wants me to do, and He wants the cause and effect process to come easy. He wants the post-belief part to be light, not to be work.
God wants us to believe, He wants to quench our parched tongues. We run around this world tasting everything we can get our hands on and all it does is make us thirstier and thirstier and the more we run around, the more exhausted we get and instead of gaining satisfaction we run farther away from the point at which we are satisfied. It's like when you're driving down the road looking for your next turn and you think you're almost there and you're so close and as long as you just go a little bit farther you'll find it and you just keep going and it's after this curve or maybe the next curve and next thing you know you're so far gone when really if you had turned around a long time ago you would have found it. And I'm driving down this road and searching for this place of satisfaction but all the signs have been turned around and they're all pointing the wrong direction. Satisfaction was at the tip of my fingers, waiting to be grasped, and I passed Him on by.
"...If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-38).
It feels right that I would be satisfied in doing things that I think would make God happy. But it's not about what feels best because feelings are deceitful. Like hot water when you first put your hand in it and it feels cold. Feelings will cause you to be burned. Look closely. See the steam rising.
It is because we feel this way that a lot of us look for satisfaction in doing good things but by looking for satisfaction in them we make them bad things. I look to be satisfied in stressing over the perfect quiet time every day; or making sure I pick up another person's litter; or forcing myself to constantly smile; or pretending that I am by nature energetic and excited; or having all the answers to all the Bible questions.
And while all of these things are good, they become harmful when I start doing them out of guilt or because I feel like I have to. As soon as I make these things my focus, my work, instead of believing, I begin on the road again, the road away from satisfaction, the road with no sure destination. When I believe, I will naturally do these things and want to do these things but my eyes should still be locked in on the belief. Constantly reminding myself of what I believe, constantly dwelling on Him in whom I believe, constantly dwelling in Him in whom I believe, my satisfaction. I am completely satisfied when focused on Him. I am completely unsatisfied when focused on doing things that I think would please Him.
That's the key. Maybe I have the belief down and the effects down. But it doesn't matter unless I have my focus on the belief. Eyes on the cause, not the effect. Eyes on the prize, the end goal, the eternal life, the hope, the reason for living, His work, not mine.