“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
We have reached the seventh fruit of the Spirit, Faithfulness. Faithfulness is a loyalty to God, to His teaching and to a life lived for Him. The Bible talks a lot about God’s faithfulness to us. He sets a perfect example of being faithful by never giving up on us. In return we should remain faithful to Him. But how can we remain faithful to God? All too often being faithful to God for the wrong reasons can turn to religion, obligation or our “Christian duty”. God does not want your faithfulness based on obligation, just like you do not want someone to nice things to you because they have to, or they are scared of you or because they have nothing “better” to do with their time. Religion can quickly come in and make our faithfulness to God nothing but rules and obligations. But is that really faithfulness at all? Are we acting like servants or sons and daughters? Today I want to look at some others ways and reasons to be faithful.
Faithfulness Comes With Great Responsibility
Uncle Ben from Spiderman said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. The same goes with our relationship with God. The closer we get to Him and the stronger our faith gets the more responsibility He gives us. The less faithful we are, the less responsibility we have. This being the case He will not give you more than you can handle. We simply have to remain faithful and trust that God knows best and has the best for us no matter how our situation looks right now. God has an amazing purpose for each and every one of us, but if we are still holding back we may never reach that purpose. We have to take action and responsibility in order to grow. Faithfulness comes from a strong desire to do right and the action to make it happen. A desire is nothing without action. When we seek God and seek to grow in our faith we begin to see our human desires change. Our desires change and become more like the desires God has for us. Our desires become His desires. Human relationships require a lot of responsibility, love and trust, without those things our relationships suffer. When you love someone your desires are for them and for them only. This is the responsibility we take on when we are in a committed relationship with someone, but when we love them this feels less like our responsibility and more like our natural desire. It no longer feels like a responsibility because your desires have changed. The same goes with God the more committed and in love with Him we are the easier it is to remain faithful. Not because it is our responsibility but because nothing else even comes close to what we have with Him.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” Luke 16:10
Faith With Works Not By Works
Religion has taught us that we must “do”, Jesus says “I have done.”. When Jesus died on the cross He did away with the laws and regulations of the Old Testament. His grace took the place of those laws, of animal sacrifices and of faith by works. No amount of works will make God love you any more than He already does and no lack of works will make Him love you any less. Because of grace we have faith with works, not faith by works. While works are not required under grace, a relationship with God can bring about the desire to do good works. Like I mentioned about, the closer we get to God the more our desires change, and those desires produce actions. Not because we need to earn God’s love, but because we already have it and desire to express it to the world around us. Our good deeds are an expression of the love we have for God and others. Faith produces actions.
“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17
Choosing Faithfulness Daily
Faithfulness is a daily choice. Every day we have choices to make, we can do what is wrong or what is right. Are we going to do what we want or what God wants is a daily struggle? How can we make the right choice to remain faithful to God when the wrong choices look so tempting? In order to make good choices we have to stay in communication with God through pray. Stay prayed up, you start to feel tempted, pray! You start to have doubts, pray. Your emotions try to get the best of you, pray. When you do not know what to do, stop and pray! He will hear your prayers and He will speak to you too, you just have to listen. Which means taking the time to be still, to listen. How can you hear God when you are doing all the talking? Pray, but also listen. Also you can stay in His Word, read it, study it and apply it. That is another way that God has already spoken to us, we just have to read it. Remaining faithful requires remaining close to God. He will change you inside out if you will let Him. Put your faith to action by growing closer to God, it will change your life!
Lots of Love,