Let Belief Reign

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6 Gap Mountain Top View

Have you ever had a time when you’ve believed God for something big and then you actually saw His faithfulness manifest right in front of you by His bringing to pass what you believed Him to do? When that happens, the goodness of God and His faithfulness simply overwhelms me. God is so good!

The Annual 6 Gap Century Ride

Recently, a group of friends and I traveled to Dahlonega, Georgia to do the annual 6 Gap century ride. It is called 6 Gap because it involves riding a bike over 6 beautiful Georgia mountain passes for a total of 11,200 ft. of climbing elevation. Now let me tell you the good thing about riding a bike up 11,200 ft. of mountain elevation…what goes up, must come down…and coming down is always better than going up.

We arrived in Dahlonega on the day before the ride to check-in and get our gear ready for the ride. After we checked in, we visited the race expo and we all decided to purchase the official 6 Gap riding jersey which we thought was a great idea. But after I bought the jersey and even more so, while I was actually climbing those huge mountain passes on my bike the next day, this dreadful thought raced through my mind more than a few times. “What if I can’t finish this ride? I will never be able to wear the 6 Gap Jersey…”

Well, the good news is that I did finish the ride and I can now wear the jersey in good conscience as an official finisher of the 6 Gap century ride. However, during the ride when I was faced with each successive imposing mountain pass, I wondered if I had been a little too presumptuous in buying the jersey BEFORE I actually finished the ride. Or was it indeed, an act of faith based upon my training and my belief that God was actually with me through the peaks and the valleys of that ride.

In foresight and even now in hindsight…I know I wasn’t acting from a state of presumption because over the several months leading up to the ride, God had been speaking to my heart about “standing in the gap”. And because of it, I had a strong sense that God was with me for the 6 Gap ride and that He wanted me to experience a great ride with Him.

Standing In The Gap Takes Belief In A BIG God

Since about last summer when I hosted See You At The Office, the annual marketplace prayer campaign, God has been emphasizing to me the importance of “standing in the gap” for our nation; therefore, when my friend told me that he was going to do the 6 Gap ride, I was inspired by him and also by God to do the ride as well.  And you know what? I think there is something healthy about attempting a big thing that has the very real possibility of failure. It stretches you. It increases your thinking. It requires you to plan and prepare. And for me, it even builds my relationship with God and my faith in Him – my very BIG, All-Powerful, All-Sufficient, Heavenly Father.

Anytime you step out in faith to do something BIG, there will always be unbelief lurking at every corner in your mind saying that it can’t be done. However, we don’t have to believe words of unbelief, especially when we know God is with us and He is for us. Instead, we should think BIG and believe BIG because God is BIG! It is so unfortunate that many people live lives that are much, much smaller than what God actually has for them because of small thinking and unbelief.

Do You Know That Belief And Unbelief Cannot Reign Equal In Your Heart? The Truth Is That One Will Submit To The Other.

Just imagine that you are Moses leading Israel out of Egyptian slavery and you encounter the Red Sea with the Egyptians fast approaching on horses and chariots. You have nowhere to go and you are the leader. What do you do when God says to part the Red Sea with your staff?

Belief And Unbelief Cannot Reign Equal In Your Heart…One Will Submit To The Other

Just imagine that you are Peter sitting with the other disciples in a boat. It’s dark. It’s in middle of the lake. The wind is blowing. The waves are raging. And you think you see the Lord walking on the water.  You yell out, “Lord, is that you?” What do you do when the Lord responds, “Yes Peter, it’s me…get out the boat and come to me.”

Belief And Unbelief Cannot Reign Equal In Your Heart…One Will Submit To The Other

Just imagine that you are Martha and your brother, Lazarus, has died. It’s been four days and Jesus shows up. You tell Him, “Lord, my brother is dead…if only You were here.” What do you do when the Lord responds, “He will rise…roll the stone away.”

Belief And Unbelief Cannot Reign Equal In Your Heart…One Will Submit To The Other

Have you ever been in an impossible situation where belief and unbelief battle for supremacy in your heart? You see, it’s one thing when you are just imagining that you were Moses, Peter, or Martha in their impossible situations. But it’s another whole thing when it’s your real life impossible situation and there is the seeming possibility in the natural that the Lord may fail to move the imposing mountain. When there is the mountain of a personal health issue, or the mountain of a rocky marriage, or the mountain of a prodigal child, or the mountain of a struggling financial situation, make no mistake about it, unbelief will wage war against belief for supremacy in your heart. What do you do then, because belief and unbelief cannot reign equal in your heart…one will submit to the other.

Small Belief In A Big God Can Move Mountains

There is good news for you and I when we find ourselves in these kind of impossible situations because Jesus says that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. The Bible states in Matthew 17:14-20, “At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.’

Jesus replied, ‘You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.’ Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well. Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, ‘Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?’ ‘You don’t have enough faith,’ Jesus told them. ‘I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.’”

The Battle For Supremacy In Your Heart Between Belief And Unbelief

When we read this story and Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples, we often focus upon the faith of the disciples or lack thereof; but what about the faith of the man who brought his son to Jesus? Even after he brought the boy to the disciples and they couldn’t help him, the man didn’t give up. He still had faith enough to bring his son directly to Jesus for healing. And the striking thing about this story retold by the gospel of Mark is that even though the man struggled with unbelief, he overcame it through belief in Jesus.

The Bible states in Mark 9:21-24, “So He (Jesus) asked his father, ‘How long has this been happening to him (the boy)?’ And he said, ‘From childhood. And often he (the demon) has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’”

The battle for supremacy in this man’s heart between belief and unbelief was raging strong; however, belief as small as a mustard seed in Jesus forcefully overcame unbelief in the natural and the impossible mountain in his life was moved by God. There is no mountain in your life or mine that cannot be moved by the promises of God and faith in His word because God is good, His word is true, and He is faithful!

Stay The Course With Committed Belief

I’ve learned in life that spiritual breakthroughs often come slowly over time as we keep on believing God, walking by faith and not by sight. A little crack in a concrete dam will eventually create a huge crack that will cause the whole dam to fail and the water to breakthrough. In the spiritual realm, God’s word combined with prayer and fasting creates the crack that will eventually bring the spiritual breakthrough and the manifestation of what God has promised. We see this in Daniel’s life and it will happen in our life the same way with prayer and fasting.

I like how the Message Bible paraphrases Hebrews 6:11-16 regarding faith in God and His faithfulness to fulfill His promises. “And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them. When God made His promise to Abraham, He backed it to the hilt, putting His own reputation on the line. He said, ‘I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have — bless and bless and bless!’ Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him.

Four Ways To Make Unbelief Submit To Belief And Have Belief Reign Supreme In Your Heart

On the basis of Hebrews 6:11-16, let me give you four ways to make unbelief submit to belief in your life and have belief reign supreme in your heart.

  1. Read God’s Word because you must know what He says about the situation in order to believe Him to do something about the situation.
  2. Believe God’s Word because He will do what He says He will do.
  3. Pray and fast because breakthrough happens in the supernatural before it happens in the natural.
  4. Never, ever give up because God is for you and He is with you.

To God’s glory, have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Let Belief Reign Copyright 2013, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint the leadership article, Let Belief Reign, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Ministry Heart And Mind

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Scripture

2 Timothy 4:5 “But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” NLT

Observation

In this verse, the Apostle Paul is encouraging his son in the Lord, Timothy, to carry out the work of the ministry that God had given him. As an uncommon mentor, Paul knew that fulfilling the work of the ministry would include days of suffering for the Lord; therefore, he wanted to make sure that Timothy, his uncommon protégé, was appropriately prepared in his heart and properly focused in his mind for the challenges he would face in the ministry.

Application

To carry out the ministry that God has given me is not easy because it includes the baptism of suffering that all spiritual leaders must go through to become like Jesus and it requires me to keep a focused mind in every situation I encounter on the ministry journey. Loving God with my whole heart, mind, soul, and strength helps me embrace the fellowship of Christ’s suffering as a minister of the Gospel. Loving others as myself helps me keep a clear ministry mind in every situation. In doing this with the help and grace of the Lord, I plan to effectively carry out the ministry God has given me in telling others about the Good News of the Gospel.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are gracious, merciful, compassionate, and faithful! You know every detail of my life and ministry to others. As You lead me and guide me on every step of the ministry journey, I place my complete trust in You to mold me, shape me, teach me, and keep me as an effective minister of Your grace, truth, and love! Help strengthen my faith in all sufferings and focus my mind in every situation. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Ministry Heart And Mind Copyright 2013, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Ministry Heart And Mind, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Small Beginnings

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Scripture

Matthew 13:32 “It is the smallest of all seeds [the mustard seed], but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.” NLT

Observation

In this verse, Jesus uses a parable about the mustard seed to illustrate the growth of a flourishing life in His Kingdom. Although the mustard seed starts out as the smallest of all seeds, when it is planted in good soil, it becomes the largest of all plants and further grows into a tree that provides a protective home for birds that come to it for safety and security. The mustard seed that seems so small and insignificant actually has the potential to become a strong, powerful, and life-giving tree in God’s kingdom when it is planted in good soil, stewarded well, and healthy.

Application

The work of my hands and the impact of my life can at times seem small and insignificant, like a tiny mustard seed, especially in the beginning stages of a new work, a changing season, a fresh dream in my life. However, like a tiny mustard seed, my life has the potential to grow, be fruitful, and make a significant impact in the kingdom of God when I am firmly planted in the good soil of the house of God, regardless of how small and insignificant my beginning may seem. Of the godly man, the Bible says in Psalms 1:3, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” The Bible further encourages me in Zechariah 4:10 stating, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Through faithfulness to the work God has assigned me to do in His kingdom, along with steady plodding day after day in His good plan for my life, my day of small beginnings will grow into a life of significant impact and large endings.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Large and Magnificent in every way! Thank You for caring about the smallest details of my life including the number of hairs on my head and the number of days You have written for me in Your book. As I trust You with my life, give me the grace, strength, and wisdom to remain faithful to the work You have assigned me to do in Your kingdom so that my life will grow from small beginnings to large endings of multiplied fruitfulness and significant impact in You. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Small Beginnings Copyright 2013, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Small Beginnings, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

In Due Season

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Scripture

Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” NKJV

Observation

In this verse, the apostle Paul is encouraging the believers in Galatia to keep doing good because the Lord will provide a harvest of blessing when the time is right if they don’t lose heart and give up. It is clear that God’s kingdom law of reciprocity returns goodness, favor, and blessing when believers plant goodness, favor, and blessing in the lives of others. In verse 7 of this same chapter in Galatians, the apostle Paul affirms the kingdom law of reciprocity stating, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

Application

As a believer, I am encouraged by Paul’s letter to the Galatians to keep doing good in life even though the planting seasons of life can become wearisome at times. Because God is Lord of the harvest, He will return a harvest of goodness, favor, and blessing in my life from the seeds of goodness, favor, and blessing that I plant in other people’s lives. Although a farmer can grow weary in his planting season, the wise farmer keeps on planting because he knows there is a harvest season coming if he doesn’t lose heart and give up. I realize that I too can grow weary in the planting seasons of life; however, like the wise farmer, I will choose to keep planting seeds of goodness, favor, and blessing in the lives of others because in due season, the planting seasons in my life will change to harvest seasons in my life if I don’t lose heart and give up.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Lord of the planting seasons in life and also Lord of the harvest seasons in life! Thank You for Your faithfulness to return harvest seasons of life blessing from the planting seasons of life blessing. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, give me supernatural strength to not grow weary in the planting seasons of life and give me Your abundant grace to lavishly plant seeds of goodness, favor, and blessing in the lives of others. I love You Jesus! Amen!

In Due Season Copyright 2013, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, In Due Season, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Blow The Trumpets

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Scripture

Numbers 10:9-10 “When you arrive in your own land and go to war against your enemies who attack you, sound the alarm with the trumpets. Then the Lord your God will remember you and rescue you from your enemies. Blow the trumpets in times of gladness, too, sounding them at your annual festivals and at the beginning of each month. And blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and peace offerings. The trumpets will remind the Lord your God of His covenant with you. I am the Lord your God.” NLT

Observation

In these verses, the Lord is commanding His people to praise Him in times of battle by blowing the trumpets. When they do, the Lord promises that He will remember His people and rescue them from their enemies. Additionally, the Lord commands His people to praise Him during the good times of life to remind Him of His covenant with them.

Application

In my life, it seems easy to remember the Lord by calling upon Him when I am in trouble and need Him to rescue me. However, in these difficult times, I must remember to not only pray for His help but also praise Him in the midst of the trial until He brings complete victory. Additionally, I must remember to praise the Lord in the good times of life and not just the difficult times of life. Jesus is Lord of the valleys and also Lord of the mountaintops. He alone deserves praise for His goodness, His word, and His faithfulness during the good and bad times in my life.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are good! Thank You for always remembering Your covenant with me through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Give me the everyday mindfulness to praise You in the valleys of life and praise You on the mountaintops of life for You are good, Your word is true, and You are faithful. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Blow The Trumpets Copyright 2013, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Blow The Trumpets, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Dare To Hope

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Scripture

Lamentations 3:21-24 “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!’” New Living Translation

Observation

In these verses, Jeremiah, also known as the weeping prophet, refuses to succumb to utter gloom and despair over the sin and rebellion of the people of God in his day. Although the sin and rebellion committed by the people deserve God’s full judgment, Jeremiah reminds himself that the Lord’s unfailing love, His unending mercies, His faithfulness, and His tender mercies are new every morning. As a result, he throws himself on the rock of God’s love and faithfulness where he dares to find his hope in the Lord.

Application

Even though my sin and rebellion against God deserve His full judgment, like Jeremiah, I will remind myself of the Lord’s unfailing love, never ending mercy, faithfulness, and new mercies every day through the complete and total forgiveness of my sin by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. No matter what, I throw myself on the rock of His love, faithfulness, and inheritance of my salvation in Him which is where my daring hope comes from.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness! Thank you Lord for Your faithfulness that reaches to the heavens and Your tender mercies that are new every morning. Despite my failures, sin, and rebellion against You, I dare to place my trust and hope in You, the Lord my Righteousness in Christ Jesus, because You are good, You are faithful, and Your word is true. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Dare To Hope Copyright 2012, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Dare To Hope, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Set Apart

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Scripture

Jeremiah 1:5 “I [the Lord] knew you [Jeremiah] before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” New Living Translation

Observation

In this verse, the Lord tells Jeremiah that He knew Jeremiah before the Lord formed him in his mother’s womb. Furthermore, the Lord tells Jeremiah that before he was even born, the Lord set him apart and divinely appointed him as a prophet to the nations. This declaration from God is the calling that Jeremiah needed to hear from God, be encouraged to follow diligently after Him, and step forward into his divinely appointed destiny as a holy, set apart, unique, prophet of God to the nations.

Application

If the Lord knew Jeremiah before He formed him in his mother’s womb, I can rest assured that the Lord also knew me before He formed me in my mother’s womb. In fact, the Apostle Peter says in Acts 10:34, “God is no respecter of persons.” And if this truth is not astounding enough, I can also trust that the Lord has a holy, set apart, unique, divine calling and appointment for me as a child of God, just like He did for Jeremiah. In Luke 12:6-7, the Bible says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Understanding that I am worth more than many sparrows to the Lord, that the Lord knew me before I was even born, and that He has set me apart with a God-ordained calling in Him, encourages me to: 1) carefully listen for His still small voice, 2) follow diligently after Him, and 3) courageously step forward in faith into my unique divinely appointed destiny in God.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are El Elyon, God Most High, Creator and Possessor Of Heaven And Earth! Thank you Lord for knowing me before I was formed in my mother’s womb and creating me with a unique divinely appointed destiny in You. Help me Lord to carefully listen for Your still small voice calling me, leading me, and encouraging me to courageously step forward in faith into my unique divinely appointed destiny in You. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Set Apart Copyright 2012, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Set Apart, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

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