I have been reminded of God’s faithfulness and of the opportunity that we have to be faithful to God.
I’ve been reminded that even in the midst of life and the struggles we have, that God looks to our hearts. There will always be struggles and challenges, but regardless of difficulties, we can still respond to God in faithfulness.
Let’s begin by looking at God’s faithfulness to us. It is fabulous to read in 2 Peter 1:3, how God has granted us all things by which we may succeed with him:
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3
The call to walk with God begins in our hearts alongside his heart. Sometimes we think we need to have more of this or more of that before we come to God. Sometimes we think we need to be great or better or… something. But the Bible is pretty clear that we do not need much to serve God, other than a willing heart.
The boy in the book of John had five loaves and two fish, and this was used in a mighty way.
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, ” John 6:9
Reading all of John 6:1-8 we find the full story. Of how over 5000 people were fed from that five loaves and two fish.
In another passage we read that the widow with her two small coins was said to have much faith.
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said,
“Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4
Quite profoundly, it is important to know that we do not need to wait until we have ‘more’ before we can be used by God.
We do not need more, we must simply walk in faithfulness.
In whatever we have been given the question becomes, have we been faithful?
In Matthew we read of the man who buried his talent in the ground only to find the displeasure of the Master.
“I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant!” Matthew 25:25-26
I suggest you read all of Matthew 25:14-30
Again: We are simply asked to be faithful with what we have been given.
Examples of the kinds of things we may have been given:
- physical: home, belongings, food, land
- emotional: mercy, compassion, understanding
- community: influence, leadership, wisdom
- intellectually: intelligence, understanding, knowledge
- church: worship, encouragement, organization, service
- legacy: those things handed down from our parents, family traits that bless others
It does not matter what we have been given. There is no one thing that is better than any other. The key is that we are faithful with it before God.
What is God asking of us in this area? How might I serve God with this?
When we are faithful with the little, we find we will be trusted with much.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” Matthew 25:21
As we are faithful we will find that our territory of influence increases.
In Isaiah we are told to enlarge our tent, for God is expanding our territory:
“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left.” Isaiah 54:2-3
In faithfulness we sense the pleasure of the Father.
Whatever we have been given, faithfulness is the key. God looks past our circumstances and past all the good and bad of our lives and looks at our hearts.
“For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
It is important to note that what have we been given is unique to each of us. We have all been gifted differently, and so we are called to walk a unique and very personal walk with the Lord.
It is therefore good to remember to leave space for others to respond in faithfulness to God, as God is asking it of them.
The conversation of faithfulness takes us before the throne of God, one to one. One day God will ask what we did with what he gave us, and each one of us will personally have to answer to the God of this universe.
Listing What You Have Been Given:
- Take some minutes to list the things that God has given to you.
- First invite God’s revelation. Then in the quiet of your heart and mind wait for the Holy Spirit to highlight and show you what you have been given.
- Write the things down as they come to you. Take as much time as you need.
- Think about how you impact people, the things you are able to do, the effect you leave behind…
When looking at our lives we find that faithfulness operates as past, present and future. All through our lives we have had opportunity to faithfulness:
As youngsters it was about chores and schooling and in obedient response to whomever was raising us. As we grew we took on more responsibility and thereby greater opportunity to faithfulness.
Our faithfulness muscles grew. We become stronger before God and community. Others begin to notice our faithfulness and remark on it. Favor and open doors came our way, and we moved into larger responsibility.
Sometimes we have to go back and apologize for areas where we were not faithful. But even then, regardless of our past, it is never too late to begin in faithfulness today.
The present is all we have. So our primary focus is always what is before us at this time. Every day we have opportunity to increase in faithfulness. A few questions to consider:
What am I being asked to be faithful to today?
- What is in my immediate area of control?
- What and who am I responsible for?
- What are the tasks and people that I impact the most?
- Where do I make a difference?
- Am I being faithful today?
- And, how does faithfulness show up for me: In tasks, in the hearts of people, in the community at large?
KEY to this discussion: Where have I already been faithful?
Make a list of the things you have been faithful with:
Take your time, allow the holy spirit to show you, to give you pictures or words that highlight your faithfulness.
Let God affirm you and commend you, in your heart and in your spirit for your faithfulness already demonstrated.
“Well done good and faithful servant”
While our primary focus is always the present, we must also be faithful to what God tells us is coming and where he is leading our life.
It is our privilege to cooperate with the visions and prophecies that God reveals to us of our lives. These things speak of God’s heart for us and others, and ask a certain response of agreement and our efforts towards the same.
A few questions to consider as we look to the future:
- What are the prophecies over your life?
- How might you cooperate with God’s vision for your life?
- Expecting your territory to expand, how might you prepare for that?
Faithfulness to God’s spoken word over our lives results in larger territories. When we have been faithful in little we are given much.
Faithfulness is always walked out one step at a time.
Faithfulness is a personal journey with the Lord and cannot be compared to another.
Our gifts are different and our callings unique, therefore faithfulness shows up in different ways in each of our lives.
We will answer to God one day for what we have done with what he has given us.
Most of all we must remember that God is faithful to us. He is the model and the initiator of faithfulness. And it is by his power that we are sustained in faithfulness ourselves.
As we walk with him, we learn faithfulness and we are brought to expansive places where he leads and has fellowship with us:
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1: 4-9
Blessings and God’s abundance over you this day. May you know how very much God loves you, and may you increase in faithfulness before him this day.