|Updated Nov. 8, 2002||
Three Messages From Mike & Brenda Keith
A Message of BlessingThirteen months ago the Lord seemed to be saying to the Keith family, “I have given you responsibilities to attend to in My Kingdom work. If you will focus on these and others I will give you, then you can trust Me to meet the needs of your family.” Nothing audible; no dreams or visions. Simply the Holy Spirit’s message to us as a result of a process involving prayer, searching Scripture, seeking counsel, examining heart motives, and considering circumstances. Can we really expect that God’s Spirit will commune with us today, especially when it seems He is asking us to do something that defies “human wisdom”? Is this not risky subjectivism? Actually it is risky, for to believe that God speaks to us today, assigning responsibilities that cannot be done in our own power, requires us to “step out of the boat”, just as Peter did 2000 years ago when Jesus said, “Come”! I confess, neither Brenda nor I wanted to step out of the boat. We certainly felt nervous, anxious, fearful! We pondered what seemed like a good possibility that we might “sink” and experience financial ruin! Could the words of Scripture really be taken literally when they declare — “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Pr 3.5,6) It seemed clear that God was giving us a wonderful opportunity to discover that He indeed is a personal God Whose promises are true and Whose Spirit is actively speaking to and leading His people today! To be sure, there have been several times that we have felt the “winds and waves” of financial distress all around us. At such times when we felt tempted to doubt and jump back into the boat of “human solutions”, we have been learning to get on our knees, ask God if He is redirecting our path, and when convinced that He is not, simply ask Him for our daily needs.
| He has never failed! Every bill
has been paid, every need met, every meal provided! Now
here is the Message of Blessing we have personally experienced
and share with you our dear family and friends. The
God Whom we all serve today is indeed a God of intimate
relationship, just like He was some 2000 years ago with His
disciples. His promises can be trusted because they are based
on His glorious character. He comes near to us, hears us when we call,
and speaks to us with loving direction by His Holy Spirit. Learning
this in deeper ways has made every anxious financial moment worth
enduring! We are learning that God’s pathway into this intimate relationship
is the pathway of faith. Faith, very simply put, is — Believing
what God says ~ Based upon Who God is ~ Obeying what God desires.
All three elements are a vital part of true biblical faith. I
fear that I have been guilty at times of believing that the first
two components qualify as faith. Rather, I realize now that this
is not faith, but only “head knowledge”. True biblical faith requires
action consistent with what we say that we believe.
At a very low point in my efforts to trust God for our daily needs, the Holy Spirit opened up a beautiful demonstration of faith to me in the life of David, as found in Psalm 54. This Psalm was written while King Saul was pursuing David, seeking to take his life (you can read the story in I Samuel 23.15-29). David cries out to God in the first three verses, stating that violent men are seeking his life! In verses four and five, he reminds himself Who God is and what His promises are to David (remember that David had already been anointed by Samuel to be Israel’s next king). He remembers that God is his helper, his sustainer, and his defender. Now, in verses six and seven, believing what God had said, based upon Who God is, he obeyed what God desired by declaring that God “had delivered” him from all trouble. He was confident in God’s deliverance even before it came! What a demonstration of true, biblical faith! We do not need to wait and see the results to believe, but rather we can believe and act with confidence because God’s truths and promises are based upon His character. From this point on I began thanking God for His faithful provisions even before they came.
A Message of GratitudeAs God has miraculously met every need, He has done it through the gracious generosity of you, our dear family and friends. We could never express enough how deeply touched we have been by your love and kindness. Brenda and I, along with our children, want to express deep hearts of gratefulness for the generous support we have received from you. It truly humbles us to be recipients of the financial support you have all given, and my desire is to be a faithful steward of your investment. With all of our hearts, we say Thank You! Your love to us means more than we could ever explain.
A Message of Ministry
Let me mention the current ministries
that the Lord has assigned to me. 25% of my time is spent in Bible teaching.
I’ve been teaching a Couples Bible Study in homes and an
evangelistic Bible study at V.I.E.W. Inc. I’m spending about
15% of my time
in intercessory prayer walks and gatherings. Our family support
ministries take up another 15% of my work week and include
conflict resolution, pre-marital counseling and Dad’s Club. Dad’s
Club is new this summer, bringing Dads and Sons together
for spiritual discussions and great activities. Brenda and I
are also hoping to launch a Young Married Couples Ministry at
Calvary Community Church
this Fall. The largest chunk of my ministry time, 40%
, is spent offering spiritual encouragement to several men
in weekly meetings. A final 5% of my schedule is dedicated
to supporting friends on the mission field through correspondence
and research. Thank you for any prayers you are led to offer on our
behalf as we serve the Lord in these ways.