Belief that engages

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Belief is a wonderfully unique expression of the inner person. When God’s people engage in God’s work, for God’s purposes, in God’s strength, using God’s Word, ministry happens on a divine level. This is where more meaningful connections happen between the recipients of grace. This is a two-way relational engagement. The discipler gives more, while the disciple opens up to receive more. It’s not superficial, it lacks demands driven by expectations, and it patiently walks in step with whatever the Lord is doing in the other’s life. In this way we “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Romans 14:19).

Belief that engagesWhile King Joash reigned over Israel in obedience, he conducted much needed repairs on the temple. 2 Chronicles 24:13 explains how “those who were engaged in the work laboured, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it.” It’s a simple yet powerful observation to make, these workers were not simply employed to do a job. They were personally invested in the mission at large, which was the repair of God’s temple. These workers humbly connected their efforts for the job at hand. They united their desires for the goal of the overall mission. They also synchronised their labour with each other for the purpose of effectively restoring God’s place of worship to being proper and appropriate for Jehovah.

For this to happen, each worker had to place individualistic attitudes in the back seat. Personal desires and goals were surrendered to effectively engage together in God’s work. This would have taken considerable humility on everyone’s part, with preferences being sacrificed. Interlocked together they set to the task, to which God responded by blessing their united efforts so that the work was accomplished in a God honouring way with a God honouring result.

On the flip side, the apostle Paul explained a whole different aspect of believer’s mutual engagement. Inherent in salvation is the believers call to accept suffering for the name of Jesus Christ. As the Philippian believers watched Paul suffering while under house arrest in Rome, he exhorted them to become “engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have” (Philippians 1:30). Christians watching their fellow believers suffering pull together to strengthen, support, and lessen the load.

Difficulties, differences of opinion, and even persecution, are to be entered into with our Christian eyes wide open, looking for ways to unit and embolden each other for Christ. This is how believers engage. They don’t separate or isolate, they step into the trenches of God honouring and painful life together. They support, they share, they encourage, they empathise, they laugh and weep together. Together they explore ways to mutually participate in each other’s lives so that Christ is praised while the world gets to watch a godly testimony of the life changing power of Jesus Christ.

This is one of the greatest privileges and challenges for those born again of the Holy Spirit. Paul said it straight to the hypocritical Corinthians. “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). May we choose today, to be those who exercise belief that engages for the blessing of others and the glory of our Great God and Savour Jesus Christ. May God grant us the grace to abandon anything of self which would hold us back from such a lofty calling.

 

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