The book of Proverbs says, “Many will proclaim their own goodness, but a faithful man, who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6). I’m sure the heart of God is aching in this respect. After all, He gave us promises of virtually unlimited scope such as “Whatever you ask in prayer, really believing, you will receive”, but what are we all doing with them?
If we have studied the teachings of Jesus, we will realize that FAITH is very vital in dealing with God. Without faith it is impossible to please God, and for Jesus one of the key performance indicators of any disciple or person is in fact “faith”. So naturally, the devil is working to distort and muddy the issue, change the meaning of words and generally oppose anything that is important in the operation of the kingdom of God on earth.
In Greek the word “faith” is pistis, and interestingly enough it also means “faithfulness”, or “fidelity”. I am going to use the word “fidelity” here because in some ways the word “faithfulness” has become such a cliché. “All God wants is faithfulness”, we hear. When we hear something too often, the words can lose their impact and also it doesn’t help if you hear these words from serial underachievers who never seem to make any impact in life.
Jesus is looking not only for flashes of confident faith, or expressions of religious confidence coming out of our mouths at appropriate times. He is looking for that true fidelity to His name and cause which leads us to continue to abide in Him through the Holy Spirit even under severe pressure.
How many times do we enjoy a touch from God in prayer, and soon afterwards give our attention to other things – perhaps some distraction of secondary importance, or our own pleasures or little indulgences. Its not that we can never enjoy things in this life. In fact we do, and should, and we do well to give thanks to God for all his gifts. But I do believe that we need to be very temperate in all things, because all these pleasures do have a potential to lure our focus away from the Lord and His purposes. The only way to really know what God wants and always do it is to continually yield to the Spirit of God. This requires us to apply some mental discipline to this process. And it requires fidelity to Jesus Christ. Loyalty. Love for God.
We cannot do these things in our own power. You can try. Its better than not trying at all. But in the end, you will realize, like Peter the apostle did, after denying the Lord publicly, that your own human zeal is not enough to carry the day. God wants us to be zealous for Him, but our human zeal fails under pressure at times. This is where we need to come to the cross. What I mean by that is this: we need to exchange our wishy-washy faithfulness for the faithfulness of the Son of God – who went all the way to the cross under extreme pressure. Paul said, “The life I live I live by faith in the Son of God”. This could equally be translated, “I live by the faithfulness of the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20). This is the secret. Let your faithfulness not be your own. Let it be the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. For Christ lives in you.
At some point we need to surrender even our religious zeal to God. Its not enough. If we truly have the desire to love and be faithful to the Lord, we can ask His help. We can ask for His life. We can ask for a divine exchange. Jesus took your sin nature at the cross – including all your natural propensity to infidelity, disloyalty and spiritual unfaithfulness. He took it and put it to death. You can enter into this victory by faith, and receive His nature of faithfulness unto death. This you and I need to do daily. I believe this is the key to tremendous fruit. If we can be faithful, if we can have true fidelity to Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God, we are not going to grieve or quench the Spirit, and there is no reason why the spiritual riches of Jesus Christ cannot flow through us to others in EVER INCREASING MEASURE.
I encourage you to join with me in the journey of finding out what might happen if we faithfully abide in God, learning to yield to the Spirit daily and at the same time say “no: to our natural programming – our flesh. What kind of rich consciousness of God’s presence, what kind of joy, what kind of peace is ours when we make this glad surrender to God? What kind of FAITH is possible when we live by the power of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ? Surely the faith of miracles is possible, for “all things are possible to those who believe”. The world needs to see what God’s people can be when they no longer make compromises with the spirit of the world, with their own selfish inclinations or with the seductions of the devil. That is a concept which excites me, motivates me, and stirs me.
Won’t you join me on this journey of discovery? Please do contact me, and we can pray together about it.