Dependence on God
Then 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.” (John 6:28-29)
When the Jews asked the Lord Jesus about doing the works God requires, He gave them a surprising and short answer, that the work of God is done when we believe in Him, the Son sent to save us. They asked about the “works”, but the Lord Jesus answered in the singular, “the work,” because faith is unique, it’s the source of everything.
Nothing honours God more than faith. BELIEVING in God is the first and greatest work that anyone can perform for Him.
But what kind of faith is this, since almost everyone claims to believe in God?
Faith is an act of total dependence on God. It can be seen in those who live in the “absolute certainty” that God exists, that He’s always watching, that He’s the rewarder of those who seek Him, that He’s the final authority and must be obeyed in everything. Those who genuinely believe, voluntarily submit to His will in all reverence.
During this time in Israel, most religious people would faithfully follow rules, conventional wisdom and rituals. People were taught to do many things, not out of faith, but out of a desire to be religious and to follow the traditions.
This same religious attitude is alive among evangelicals today because many strive to please God through the works they do in church, not out of a genuine faith in the Lord Jesus.
Over the years, church attendance, fasting, preaching, evangelising, crying, and using phrases like “it’s tied up,” “we’re going to breakthrough” or “very strong” become habitual. People end up deceiving themselves, consciously or unconsciously, certain that they’re doing “the works of God”, but in fact they do it to impress people, not to fulfil God’s requirements.
Only faith produces spirituality. Everything else results in perishable, delusional religious behaviour. A “religious varnish” gives the appearance of holiness and a sense of well-being, but when it’s put to the test it turns to ashes. When problems arise, religious behaviour lacks the power to endure and overcome. Religious behaviour leads to complaints, murmuring, fleshly questions, grudges, and all kinds of fleshliness.
It’s precisely this lack of genuine belief that so many believers have. They’re full of biblical knowledge but are weak and unstable.
There’s a big difference between those who claim to believe and those who genuinely believe! And just as the Lord Jesus praises the faith of some, He is also watching the unbelief of others.
Bishop Edir Macedo