Are You Truly Faithful? - Part III
Are you truly faithful?
I’m sure that for some of you, even if the answer is “No” right now, you can recall a time in your life when it would’ve been, “Yes”. You know, the time where you were doing everything you were taught a good Christian should do. You knew that in this life we reap what we sow, so you sowed all of the good seeds you could, with the faith that God would honor that. You made sacrifices; you treated people how you wanted to be treated instead of how they treated you. You turned the other cheek to people who spoke ill of you, spread rumors about you, etc. and you didn’t let your flesh respond. You rose above it all, because you just knew that your faithfulness to being as Christ-like as you knew how would pay off in the end.
And the whole time that was the problem.
Righteousness was not designed to be a means to an end for us. How would you feel if your friend did everything you wanted to see and said everything you wanted to hear just to be on your good side for when they wanted something from you? You would feel used, and I think it’s safe to say that more often than not, we make God feel that way. The whole “praises go up and blessings come down” mantra is not okay. We shouldn’t praise God because He can bless us, we should praise God simply because He is good. Why is it that we’re so quick to fast when a life-changing opportunity is approaching and we want God to look out? Why can’t we fast in the mere pursuit of spiritual clarity when we don’t need anything at all? Is your sacrifice really a sacrifice if you make it for personal gain?
Your relationship with God shouldn’t be a “give to get” exchange. Your faith should not be based on whether or not He does what you want when you want Him to. It should be based on the mere fact that even if He doesn’t do it, you know that He, in His infinite wisdom and power, is able to do it. And if He doesn’t, He is absolutely justified.
Faith in God’s power includes faith in His judgment of how He uses it. For some of us, all it takes is one heartbreak. One disappointment. One tragedy. And all of a sudden, we are questioning the entire faith of Christianity…because God didn’t do what we wanted, when we wanted Him to. Because, “He didn’t answer my prayer” – the prayer of a “faithful” servant. But again I ask, are you really faith-full? We trust God’s ability to perform, but we don’t trust His performance when it’s contrary to our script. On one hand, we place all of our faith in God when we need a miracle, because we know He’s the only one that can do it. Yet, on the other hand, we take it back when God doesn’t read the lines we penned, and starts writing His own. How does that work? If we only trust God to an extent, who can we turn to when we pass that point?
The fact of the matter is, your faith is your belief. It’s your source of assurance and security.
Questioning why God let you fail the class, lose your job, get your heart broken, bury a loved one, fall ill, and a host of other things is an act of someone who is not assured, and not secure. And it’s okay to admit that, because we all waver from time to time. But what I hope to help you realize is that you don’t have to agree with God’s decisions to remain faithful to Him. Truly being faithful doesn’t mean you must immediately be content with God’s actions, it means that even when you don’t see what He sees, and even when you wouldn’t have done what He did, you still believe that those actions are the best thing for you simply because they came from God. Having faith is not agreeing with God, having faith is trusting God’s judgment.
We have to reach the point where answered prayers are not the trade-off for our faithfulness. For years, I never understood the phrase, “if the Lord never does anything else for me, He’s done enough.” I was like, huh?? Not anything else, ever?? Of course, I couldn’t bring myself to agree. But the older I get and stronger I grow in Christ, the more I understand exactly what that means. Somewhere along the way, we got so caught up in what happened and what didn’t happen, that we lost sight of the fact that it is a privilege simply to be here. Lest we so ignorantly forget that THIS is humanity’s second chance. This is our grace period. This is our opportunity to get it RIGHT, and God does not owe us anything. Everything we have ever received is because God was gracious enough to give it to us. But what more could we ask for from the reason we are breathing?? I can really picture Jesus saying, “So you mean to tell me, I’m the reason you’re alive and that’s still not enough?” That sounds absolutely ludicrous because it is, yet we rarely take a moment to actually think that through.
Faith does not always agree with God; faith simply trusts His judgment. So even when you feel you’ve done your part, if the stars don’t align the way you envisioned them, keep the faith. When Murphy’s Law is ever-present, keep the faith. Love and believe God without conditions. And remember that no matter what happens or does not happen, it is still a privilege to simply have a seat at the table of the living, and a second chance at eternal life.
Look up and,