A few months ago, in a meeting, a dear friend challenged a small group of us to find our life verse. I loved the idea, but I definitely felt it would not be an easy feat to choose one verse from the entire Bible that would be the verse that stood out so much to me that I would feel comfortable saying, “Here. This is the one right here.” I prayed about it and forgot about it, well not completely, but I didn’t pressure myself to figure it out.
Wouldn’t you know, God has given me my verse! So here’s the thing, I will share my verse with you of course but don’t be all anticipating that it will end up being yours too, it may very well be, but I know now, it’s mine. This is not to say that I’m throwing out the rest of the Bible, that would be stupid, but this verse really speaks to a place deep in my being and just strikes me.
My verse is John 6:29 but I have to include at least John 6:28 as well. The New Living Translation of these two verses says, “28. They replied, ‘We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?’ 29. Jesus told them, ‘This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.'”
The Amplified says 28. Then they asked Him, “What are we to do, so that we may habitually be doing the works of God?” 29. Jesus answered, “This is the work of God: that you believe [adhere to, trust in, rely on, and have faith] in the One whom He has sent.”
The Mirror says, 28. They immediately wanted the recipe! Tell us then what we must do in order to accomplish God’s work? 29. This is the work of God; your belief in the One whom he has sent! Then it goes on to say, “Even your ability to believe is God’s work! Realizing your authentic sonship on exhibit in Jesus is God’s gift to you and cannot be earned! How can your labor compete with what God’s rest celebrates as complete!”
In all three translations, the idea was that there had to be some formula, some plan or recipe that we must follow and execute in order to do the works of God. Jesus’ answer was that we are to simply believe. He didn’t rattle off a to do list or anything of the sort. Even in believing, Jesus referred to this too, as God’s work.
As I sat for a moment and considered different situations others I know are dealing with, and my own, I kept hearing, “Be still. Be still. Be still.” Then, I heard Godfrey Birthill singing, “Living in the unforced rhythms of grace” and the light bulb turned on. When I first heard the song, probably a year ago, I loved the words. I didn’t understand the line, “living in the unforced rhythms of grace” but my spirit loved it immediately. When I say loved it, I mean loved it. Admittedly, my mind had no idea though. I’d just sing happily, along with my children who also love the song.
Now, I get it. Grace is free, unearned, a gift, and I can live from that state of being. I don’t have to pull out formulas, hoping something will work. I don’t need to say this special prayer or do this special thing or that, I can simply trust. I can just believe. I can truly live in the unforced rhythms of grace and receive all my Abba has for me.
I get that not everyone will understand this just yet or experience the “Aha” moment I have, that’s OK. My prayer though, is that we would simply trust Him and stop trying to conjure up whatever we are believing Him for, by trying this “recipe” or that. If He said it, it is so, and I for one am going to believe, because Jesus himself said to do so. If we could do all the work ourselves, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to come. Thank God, Jesus did come, and, he said it was finished. He did all the work, even that of enabling us to believe as he chose us first. So, I’m done, friends. Done with the do do’s. I will simply trust, as Jesus said. Hope you will too.