Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Believe! © 2014 by Michael Mitchell


   Michael Mitchell is a member and elder at Northgate Church in Salisbury, NC.  He is also a teacher and evangelist, who regularly answers his calling by going on missionary trips to such places as Africa and all across the United States.  God placed Michael and his family in my life several years ago, when I first heard them sing at a local coffeehouse, and then met them in person when they were walking down my street on the way to a Christmas parade.  It was then that I found out that he was also not only my friend and Christian brother, but also my neighbor.  

I welcome Michael to my site, and hope that you enjoy his insights and teaching from God's Word.

    Do you know where your “believer” is located?  Is it in your flesh (appetites and desires)? Is it in your soul (mind, will and emotions)? Could it be in your spirit (the place God made alive with Himself)?

​     Mark 5:35-36, "While he was speaking, they came from the chief of the synagogue, saying that, Your daughter died, why yet inconvenience the teacher? But Jesus immediately having heard the word being spoken, says to the chief of the synagogue, Do not fear, only believe!"  

 I can gather from this scripture that the Chief Priest had to make a choice to believe. There are many other scriptures that make the same assertion.  

 Matt 21:25, "Why then did you not believe him?"   

Matt21:32, "You did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him. But you having seen did not repent afterwards to believe him."   

Matt24:23, "Then if any should say to you, Behold, here is the Christ, or here; you should not believe."

​     To believe is a choice, made in the will of men.Sometimes people are rebuked for not believing, sometimes commended for their belief. The scripture even goes so far as to say in Luke, that we can stop believing. Therefore, we must be vigilant to engage our will to believe.  

​     There is an old song by Don Francisco; “Love is not a feeling but an act of your will.” So to is believing an act of the will. We must choose what we are going to and not going to believe. The importance of choice is so critical as to what we believe. We believe the information we consume.We must choose each day to love those God has put into our lives, so too we must choose to believe the word of the Lord over ourselves and others.

​     We can't just talk a good game but we must live it out. One aspect of believing is the daily walking out those things which we say we believe.Thus, we must know what we believe and stand watch over it, lest it be stolen from us or somehow perverted. Our beliefs get convoluted when we feed on things contrary to them. I am so thankful for the word that reminds me to be careful to protect what I believe.

​     1Tim 5:21"I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that you guard these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality."

   1Tim 6:20, "O Timothy, guard the deposit, avoiding profane and vain babblings and opposing the theories of falsely-named science."  

   2 Tim 1:14, "Guard the good deposit given through the Holy Spirit indwelling in us."

    ​I hope that we can see from these passages that guarding our deposit of the Lord is of utmost value to us as a people of God's own choosing. The Father has a plan for us and our “work” is to believe. John 6:29, "Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent."

​     It is arguable then that our only job is to believe. To keep at the work of believing. Pressing into, striving after, pursuing with all effort. To truly believe that God is who He says He is and to believe that I am who He says I am.  This is the greatest challenge and purpose of life with Jesus!

​     Out of identity, flows Son ship.  When we are able to believe, then faith can become a reality in our lives. We have been given keys to the kingdom. These keys are only able to be grasped by believing. Let me paint a picture for us.  The Lord is showing me a door of opportunity for ministry. His will for me is to go through the door, but its locked. How do I open the door?   By faith. How does faith work? I must believe that ministry is on the other side of the door. You see, I must start by being convinced in my mind that this door is the will of God for me.  Believing is the hand that picks up the key of faith by which the door is opened. 

  We must “work” at believing. Feed on things that build us up in the Lord. What are we feeding on in the Spirit. What is our time spent doing? Are pursuing what God has spoken over us? ​In our culture of mass entertainment and information overload, distractions happen there is no getting around it. The question is are we even trying to guard the deposit of God within us? Do we value identity as Sons of the Most High. This is the face of the enemy.  We must work harder to believe who God says we are in Christ, press-ing into who the Father says He is to us.

​     What activities have we entered into with the desired outcome to be a “stronger believer.”  We are not working to be saved. We are however.working to make our believer stronger. We are in a fight with powers and authorities, rulers of darkness in heavenly places. The enemy would like us to believe that it is hopeless and that there is nothing we can do. Satan is a liar and he is working hard to shape our believer for us. He wants us to believe the lie, that is why we must exert all the more effort to truly believe.

​     What are some of these activities; Sunday morning church, reading the word of God, purposed conversations about life in Christ? Have we shared the gospel? Have we simply prayed for anyone this week. How about personal prayer time? Are we praying in the Spirit? Have we had some personal worship and praise time, just me and God? These are just a few ways we work to believe. 
​     The choice to act is ours. James 4:8, "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you."  1Pet 5:8, "Be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour."

​     Stay on your guard then, press into Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
1Cor 3:13-14, "Each one's work shall be revealed. For the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try each one's work as to what kind it is.  If anyone's work which he built remains, he shall receive a reward."  Remember John 6:29, "This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent."

 © 2014 by Michael Mitchell

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