Faithfulness.

Posted on August 19, 2011

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“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:10-11)

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3-4)

Faithfulness. It’s one of those words that gets thrown around quite a bit in the Church; especially in the root form of the word. For definition’s sake, I’m pretty sure we understand faithfulness. But, I feel like we dip into only shadow waters as we actually live and breath faithfulness. From an outside view, the faithfulness that lives in our relationship with God is only half of the story, it tends to be a one-sided encounter.  At least it has been for me; maybe you can file into the same line I’m in.

I have this thing called faith in God. That’s one of those terms we use to affirm our belief (sure-ness)  in Him and trust (certainty)  in Him (Hebrews 11:1). I also know God has been infinitely faithful to me; I thank Him for that regularly. God’s presence is constant in nature and His hand is in continual motion, as His work is interwoven into our lives. It’s quite an awe-some thing actually. But, in the context of my faith in God, the question has to arise: How faithful am I to God? or What does my faith look like?

In the terms of any thriving relationship, faithfulness is mutual. Think of any close relationship you are in, like a husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, or parent/child relationship. A degree of mutual faithfulness has to exist, or things go out of wack easy. So, how is that any different between God and ourselves? God shows His faithfulness to us, and we can point to exact times where God’s faithfulness has left a permanent mark on our lives. Can we say the same of ourselves to the Creator of the universe? Is our faithfulness consistent enough throughout the unfolding our lives to actually say we are faithful to God? That is a hard question for me to swallow.

Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), which means faithfulness results from a deep relationship with God. Thus, in our pursuit of faithfulness, we must pursue such a profound relationship. We need the Him to abide in us. When such a relationship exists, faithfulness is a natural reaction. Faithfulness stems from growing closer to God through the Spirit, who helps us draw nearer to Him and remain faithful.

So then, the question lingers. How faithful have I been to God, His will, Word, or promises? Will I be able to hear that long-awaited response  from God when I stand before His throne and He can confidently acknowledge me as a good and faithful servant? To be honest, the grim truth for me is that I have not been too incredibly faithful. One compromise here of a direct command, another compromise there, and faithfulness takes a back seat real quickly. God has so many promises through His Word, but how faithful am I to those promises and what God requires of us through those promises (his commands). God says ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ And from those things we are promised life. But, how faithful have I been to recieve that one promise and its accompanying command? Can I truly say I’ve been completely faithful to those commands? What about the things and possessions that God has entrusted to me, have I been faithful to them (Matthew 25:23)?

I’m not here to propose it’s easy, or that I have found a way to remain faithful forevermore; to love faithfully or to be disciplined in such a faithful manner. Because there is no easy way out. It’s downright hard. And, we’re never going to be able to return the full amount of faithfulness that God constantly douses us in, at least while we’re here on this earth. We’re going to have unfaithful moments, we’re going to miss the mark every now and then.  But at the end of the day, I want to be faithful to God. I want to be His good and faithful servant, I want to hear that one day. So, whenever it comes to a decision point, faithfulness has to take priority. That’s what I’m trying to convey here. To further our knowledge and relationship with God, we have to practice faithfulness. It’s when we take those steps out on the limb of faith that we begin to see God in new light.

Faithfulness is a child of faith. Faithfulness lasts, trusts, and remains consistent. Faithfulness is an outward expression of a pure love. Faithfulness is also a demonstration of an affectionate allegiance. And faithfulness plays itself out, even when we can make no sense of the matter or do it out of our own ability.

May faithfulness take precedence as we follow God; may we waver not as our actions and attitudes become dependent on the demonstration of our faith. And may we learn from our unfaithful moments as we pursue faithful servant hood.

(feel free to comment or chip in, thanks for reading)

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