Barnabas Bulletin ~0007
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ABOUT YOU?
Christians have two choices in life. Each determines how "high" we will rise in this life.
Do we believe what God says about us?
Do we believe what we say about us?
If we believe what God says about us, and give ourselves to that, there are no limits to how far we can go in Him! But if we get locked into believing what we say and think about us, then our life will know all kinds of restrictions and limitations.
I have come to this conclusion:
As Christians we can pray, fast, read the Bible, go to every Christian meeting, be involved in so many church things, etc. (and these are all very good and desirable things to do), but if after all that, we still see ourselves as being “useless nobody’s” who can’t make decisions, still feel inferior to others, still bound up by fear and insecurities, then that is the level in life we live at. We live according to the level of our self-esteem, or at the level we see ourself! That's why we have to choose who we will believe - God, or self? What God says about us - and what we say about us - are often two very widely separated positions. We must choose to live according to what God declares about us in His Word as His new creations in Christ, or we will live at the lower level which our own mind-set dictates to us. Our mind-set and way of thinking about "us" sets a standard far below that which God has set for us. What level are you living at?
Right now, make a positive decision to believe what the Word of God says to you as a born-again, Spirit-filled follower of Jesus Christ!
Gideon is a very good example of a person who was locked into a negative mind-set and life-style (Judges 6 to 8). Israel was in bondage to the Midianites. Their strategy was to keep Israel subjected by controlling the food supply, which in turn kept the likes of Gideon physically weakened. Gideon, however, had managed to secretly grow some wheat and was in the process of threshing it when an angel of God appeared to him. Gideon would have been malnourished, hungry and lean! Yet, in spite of those circumstances, the angel proclaimed to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty (“strong, powerful; very great in extent, importance” or “warrior, tyrant, champion; one who excels” – Strong’s) man of valour (“strength: courageous and brave, especially in battle”).”
What Gideon was experiencing, feeling and believing, was not what the angel was declaring! The angel saw the potential in Gideon to rise to greater things. But at that point in time Gideon did not know who he was. He did not know the power of the word and will of God for his life. Gideon was so caught-up in his own circumstances, disappointments and discouragements, he could not take it all in. His response was a negative, "How can it be? . . . Why is all this happening to me? . . . Where’s God in all this? . . . Who me? . . . " Because Gideon did not know who he was, his mind-set and confession was built around complaining and excuses. But God declared to him that he was a mighty champion, able to excel (“surpass; to be outstandingly good or proficient” - Collins)! That experience left Gideon in a position where he had to make a choice. The choice was:
“Do I believe what the angel (God’s Word) says about me?" or “Do I believe what I say about me?”
If he chose the first, he would be able to see things change for the better. He would really discover and know who he was in God. If he chose the second, life would continue on its negative way. He would never know who he was as a person, a Christian, and a man of God.
With some trepidation Gideon chose to believe what God said and, from that time, a positive change began for (and in) Gideon that saw him rise to lead Israel back into its God-ordained position of being the victors (not the victims). The more Gideon co-operated with God the more he discovered who he was - and the more he rose to become a great Leader. In fact Gideon’s life so changed that he became a powerful force for good and God. Under his leadership Israel enjoyed 40 years of safety and security (Judges 8:28 ), whereas prior to that they were slaves to the Midianites.
Gideon represents your life and mine. The same choices he had are the same choices we have today. Are you going to believe what God says about you? Or, Are you going to believe what you say about you? - Rodney W. Francis.
Bible Readings: Judges chapters 6 to 8; Mark 11:22-24 ; Romans 10:6-17 .
Please Pray This Prayer:
"Dear Lord, help me to bring my thoughts, mind-set and confession into line with the truth of Your Word about me. I know You are totally committed to me, and want the very best for my life. Therefore I need to line my believing up with what You say. Release me from all negativity that keeps my life from rising to higher heights in You. Give me grace and patience to keep working on this area of my life, for some of these things have been affecting me for a long time. I release it all up to You right now, and ask for Your power to free my mind from every thing that is not honouring to You. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."
This area of the mind is a major battle area; one we must break through in if we are going to be more effective for God today. It affects us perhaps more than anything else does, and it is so important that we train our minds to accept and believe God's Word. All of our life will then be lived out according to how we believe God's Word to US! Don't let the devil cause you to doubt any longer. See yourself as A WINNER IN JESUS CHRIST