The One Thing You Can Do

by Andy Wood on August 24, 2012

in Ability, Allocating Your Resources, Conversations, Five LV Laws, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Increase

What do you do when you come to the edge of something you want but can’t get there?  How do you handle it when you have a clear sense of who you want to be, what you want to be able to do, or what you want to have… but only come away frustrated and defeated?  What do you do when you want so badly to push past your limitations and weaknesses, but can’t ever seem to find a way?

You do the one thing you actually can do.  And if you’re like most people, you probably won’t, because it sounds so simple.

Check out this snippet of conversation:

“What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked.

Jesus replied, “This is the work of God—that you believe in the One He has sent”(John 6:28-29, HCSB).

No.  Seriously, Jesus.  We want to know how to manifest all those cool signs You’re performing.  What are the steps?  Tell us about Your methods.  Go through Your training routines.  Don’t You have some sort of certification class, workshop, or instruction manual?

Nope.  Just believe in Me.

Tell us about what we’re supposed to eat and not eat and how we’re supposed to perform when we’re at church.  Surely that can infuse some of that power into us.

Uh uh.  Believe.

Oooh, I get it.  We’re supposed to get ourselves into a state of positive expectancy.  I’ve heard about that!  Something about breathing and gratitude and stuff, right?  Does Granola help?

This isn’t a technique.  And it isn’t soul manipulation.  It’s a relationship with Me.  And out of that relationship, you trust Me.

It can’t be that simple.  Where are the steps, the check boxes, the signs of progress?

Those things get lost in your trust in Me.  I’m the one who does the work.  The one thing you can do to perform the works of God is believe.

But if You’re the one who does the work, where do I get any credit for it?

Lord?

You still there?

Oh.  I’m not supposed to get the credit.  Well that sorta defeats the… oh, never mind.

It isn’t your job to do the works of God.  It’s God’s job to do His work.  Your job is to do the one thing you can do.

Believe.  In You.

Yes, believe in Me.

But I want to have the confidence to say, “I can do that!”  And be able to look back at something and say, “I did that!”

Go ahead.  And you’ll have your reward in full.

And what will my reward be?

You can say you made the mess all by yourself.  But I don’t think you really want to live under that curse for long.

So what then?  I just sit around passively and say, “I believe?”

No.  Faith is wonderfully more active than that.  To believe in Me means to receive what I am offering you – like the blind men who received their sight because that is what I was offering.

How do I know what You’re offering?

You ask.  You seek.  You knock.

I think I’ve heard that before.  So that’s it?

No.  Faith involves yielding to who I am – especially yielding to Me as your Lord and your Source.

“Lord” I get.  You expect to be in charge of all my priorities.  But what do You mean, my Source?

You can’t believe Me and expect to remain the source of your own direction, strength, or wisdom.

So that little crack I made about “I did it myself?”.

…is your way of saying you want to do God’s work with your wisdom and power.

Okay, so I take what You offer and yield to who You are.  Is that it?

No.  You also rest in what I say.

What does that mean?

It means you accept My promises and My declarations of truth, regardless of what others or your senses tell you.

That’s not easy to do.  I like living by sight.

I understand.  But it IS easy to do if you believe that I am credible and capable.  But like Peter, sometimes it seems easier to believe the wind and the waves you can see than it is to believe My promises and faithfulness.

That’s what I’m talking about!  It’s hard to “rest” when you’re about to sink.

He wasn’t about to sink until he stopped resting in My promise.

He wasn’t resting at all!  He was walking on water, for crying out loud!

He was walking as an expression of rest in My promise.  But that also is the fourth element of believing in me – acting on what I want.

You wanted him to walk on water?

I wanted him to believe, and when he asked, I told him to come.

So believing You is about obedience?

Yes.  But not the obedience you started out looking for – obedience to a collection of rules or steps or procedures.  Obedience means discerning the sound of My voice and doing what I say – even when sometimes it doesn’t make sense.

Like Noah?  And Abraham?

Like them and anyone who has ever believed in My name.

So how do I hear Your voice?

Through My word, to be sure.  But I also promised that My sheep hear My voice and follow Me.

So how do I know it’s Your voice?

Again, it will be in keeping with My Word.  But most importantly, it will be the voice that KNOWS you.

Okay, so let me get this straight.  I have an area in my life where I need a breakthrough.  I’ve tried it on my own and we all know how that turned out.  To get God to act, I have to believe You, and that’s it?

That’s it.

And that means to take what You’re offering.  Are You offering me a breakthrough?

Maybe.  Or maybe the “breakthrough” looks completely different than you imagine it.  Why don’t you spend some time asking and seeking out what I am offering you – as the one who KNOWS you – in this situation?

Okay.  And then I yield to You as my Source and my Lord?

Yes.  Sometimes I may specifically lead you to a point of trust or surrender.  Sometimes I just want you to trust in My heart toward you.

Then I rest?  By acting with confidence in You in what you lead me to do?

Yes.  Believing that I am able and faithful, not only to call you, but to do it.

I guess if I’m going to learn to do this, I’m going to have to keep my eyes on You.

Isn’t that where our relationship began in the first place?  When you realized you couldn’t save yourself?

Wow.  If all that is true, I guess I need to ask You to increase my faith.

And I need to ask you to use the faith you have – even if it’s as small as a mustard seed.

It’s really that simple?

It’s really that simple.

But…

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando August 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Andy, I am absolutely blown away by this post. We Christians can sure make a mountain out of a molehill, can’t we? When all we have to do is believe in Jesus, trust in His words, His timing, and listen for His voice. So simple. So true. As plain as the noses on our faces . . .
Blessings always!
Martha Orlando´s last blog post .."Tune My Heart to Sing Thy Grace . . ."

Lynne watts August 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm

What a gift you have for writing! Great conversation… Simple isn’t always easy of course.

Andy Wood August 25, 2012 at 9:32 am

Lynne,

You’re absolutely right. And one of the reasons simple isn’t always easy is because of our tendency to complicate truth, lay unneeded burdens on people, or insist on getting the credit.

Thank you for stopping by – please come back! (I love your blog site by the way!)

Andy Wood August 25, 2012 at 9:37 am

Hi Martha,

Funny you should mention that nose – I’m all inspired now. I can see your nose a lot easier than I can see mine, and vice-versa. And the same goes for the things that should be obvious to me. I get so caught up in looking cross-eyed at how life and truth and spiritual “performance” are supposed to be, I can’t see the simple and obvious. One of the reasons God gave believers each other is to help them see what’s obvious to everyone else, but hard for them to see about themselves – whether good, bad, or uh-oh.

We all need some “keep it simple” people in our lives, don’t we? Some faith encouragers who keep pointing us (and our noses) to the simplicity that is in Christ.

Thanks as always for your encouragement.

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