I Believe in You!By
Following is a blog entry that my wife, Mikki, recently wrote. It is so full of life that I wanted to share it with you. I hope it will encourage you personally and also remind you of the power of your words in the lives of those you teach and lead.
I think you’d be great at…
You have a wonderful way of…
You really have a gift of …
You are a gift to me…
I believe in you!
Words of encouragement. Words of faith in another. Words of affirmation.
We all need them. As a matter of fact, our soul wilts without them. I’m not speaking of flattery which we might give or receive with the end in mind of manipulating someone for some purpose of our own. I am speaking of true encouragement.
God created us to give and receive it. In the beginning moments of time, Adam named his wife “Eve” which meant “life – the mother of all living.” Is that a big deal? You bet! She had just fallen. She was draped in discouragement and disappointment. When her husband looked at her and called her Eve, he was saying, “You are life to me and to the purposes of God in the earth”. He was fulfilling one of his purposes as her husband – to cover her with love and encouragement. He was also affirming his agreement with what God had decreed after her failure – “Satan, through this woman’s seed, your head will be bruised – crushed. You have brought destruction, but you and your purposes will ultimately be destroyed and cast down – through the very one you have attacked. Her seed will topple you.” Adam’s agreement with God was a shift from his earlier statement which indicated that he wanted to blame his wife for his own fall. After hearing God’s perspective, he now was able to speak life over his wife – instead of accusation.
I believe we are all created with a deep longing to be significant. To impact our world. Our world at home. Our world at work. Our world – wherever we are living it out.
That is not a wicked thing. It is the image of God within us. We can make it wicked if we live out of selfish desires, or we can make it deeply meaningful when we fulfill our purpose as it connects with God’s design for our lives and the lives of those we touch.
When we are bowed low with condemnation as the first woman certainly was, how beautiful it is when someone else can see beyond our failure and say, “You have purpose! I believe in you!”
It is part of our connectedness to humankind. We need each other.
Sometimes we find ourselves so empty. We often look wrongly to others to fill that emptiness. No one else can fill us as can God’s Spirit. Yet I believe that God’s gentle loving Holy Spirit often fills us through our relationships with others. Now give me time to explain that! I believe that Satan often offers us a cheap imitation of what God really wants us to have. I don’t believe it is wrong to need others’ affirmation. We really do need each other! Adam needed someone to come alongside him. That’s what the word “helpmeet” means in Genesis. It is offensive to women if they don’t understand what God is saying. He is not saying that a woman is just on the planet to be man’s helper. He is saying that woman is to give man what he does not have without her. She completes him. The same word is used for the Holy Spirit. He is our helper – he gives us what we do not have so that we can complete God’s purposes.
Man needs woman. Woman needs man. Truthfully, we ALL need each other.
When another human can see the image of God within us …when someone else can see the purposes of God on our lives…when someone can recognize the ways that the enemy of our souls has bruised us and speak life over our very being, they are acting in a way which is consistent with God’s character and a way that helps to open our hearts and spirits to receive what God longs to pour in.
We were created to be fully human and full of God’s Spirit – just as Jesus was. We can’t really experience what it means to be fully alive until we become humans full of the Spirit of God.
I remember a time in my early twenties when I first realized that God might actually want to use me – me – a young woman who had a desperate need to feel loved and significant. I spent days in a sort of deep pleasure. My heart had been touched by a missionary whom God used to awaken my soul to the world of humanity. I thought I must also surely be called to be a missionary. I was overtaken with joy to think God could really use me. That may sound ridiculously religious but it was truly revelation to me. I devoured the Word of God. It was breathing and living. That season began an important part of my journey with God.
Years later, I again experienced God’ Spirit bathing me with His love. I literally felt His warmth for eight days. I remember thinking, “I’ve always loved God” – (even from a young child of five, I remember praying beside my bed – begging for God’s help. I always believed.) “But now, (I thought) I am in love with Him.” Food meant nothing. Nothing was important but being with Him. He soaked me in His presence. The Word of God was my food. God began a process of dealing with my need to understand Him as my Father – and my need to understand what a father was meant to be.
I began to hear God’s voice just as Adam and Eve did in the beginning. I began to hear His voice in my spirit. And I began – in a new way - to hear His voice through others.
I timidly began to walk in the purposes of God for my life that were just too amazing for me to believe before. Slowly. Baby steps. Fearfully. And just as a mother or father might encourage a child who is beginning to walk, others encouraged me. “Take that step. You can do it. I believe in you. I’ll hold your hands. I’ll catch you if you fall.”
That was ten years ago. The revelation continues to come together for me. In the last few months, I have understood, in a new way, my life story. The threads God has been weaving into my tapestry. I heard Beth Moore say that we can’t divorce our destiny from our history. So often, we want to do that. We’d love to forget all the imperfect parts of our lives. All the failures and struggles. We’d like to prune our family trees of all imperfect people. Problem is – that would include us!
I have found that when my husband speaks life over me, I find encouragement to fulfill my destiny. I have found that when others speak life over me – when they believe in me, I find encouragement to believe that God, also, sees me and knows me.
Jesus certainly did this in his ministry. Although he saw the woman at the well in her sin, he also spoke to her in a way that said, “Things can be different. You don’t have to be empty. I can fill you.” And then he used her to touch a city.
Sometimes we hesitate to give encouragement because we don’t want others to misunderstand it, but Jesus was constantly speaking life and destiny over people. In their failure. In their sicknesses. In their hopelessness. In their grief.
God spoke encouragement over Jesus. “You are my beloved son. I am really pleased with you.” As a matter of fact, God said this more than once to his son.
Sometimes Jesus spoke about a person’s sin or something difficult that would happen in their future, but he consistently also gave hope and encouragement.
I thought this morning about the words of a song Tin Man that a folk-rock group named
Sometimes late when things are real
And people share the gift of gab between themselves
Some are quick to take the bait
And catch the perfect prize that waits among the shelves
But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
That he didn’t, didn’t already have …
So please believe in me
In one way, the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz already had within him everything he needed. But yet he needed someone else to affirm that – someone to give him the keys to unlock that part of himself. He needed someone to believe in him.
And so we all are as believers. We have a destiny known by God from the beginning of time. It is already inside us – through the plans of God stamped on our humanness – and through the Spirit of God filling our spirits. But when someone else sees that and believes in us, it strengthens us. It encourages us to take another step – even when we’ve failed – even when we’re tired. The Body of Christ in the earth is just that – a Body. One piece connected to another. So when Jesus said that we are to love one another as we love ourselves, perhaps one part of that love is the ministry of encouragement.
It waters my soul.
So please believe in me…
(You can visit and read more of Mikki’s postings at her MikkiBlogs site.)
As a husband, father, pastor, author, and web developer, Eddie lives an exciting and productive life. He holds earned Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees and is also the owner of Sermon Seedbed.
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