Faithfulness is your history with God. It works both ways – his faithfulness to you and your faithfulness to Him. Without God initiating and proving his faithfulness towards us, we would have no obligation to be faithful but because he is faithful, we can be faithful.
This summer I’ve done a lot of tent ministry. I’ve interacted with many people from strong believers to nominal Christians to practicing wiccans (professing atheists tend to avoid the tent which advertises “Free Spiritual Readings”). Time and again, I’m impressed by the pursuit and faithfulness of God towards these precious people.
During one conversation last weekend, a fellow was amazed when I told him he didn’t have to prove himself to God. The onus is on God to show us his faithfulness, not the other way around. So many understand the Lord to be distant, unimpressed and hard to please; it must break his heart, because it breaks mine when I hear the stories of people carrying around burdens that are impossible to fulfill.
Remember the start of your first love relationship? How did it start? Did the other person demand your fidelity and unfailing loyalty at your first meeting? Most likely, your answer is no. It takes time to build a relationship. During the season when I had my first few dates with my Man, we weren’t exclusive and I dated one or two others around the same time. I enjoyed spending time with my Man, and he had something the other guys didn’t so I spent even more time with him, getting to know him. It wasn’t long before we started dating exclusively. I stopped dating other people but I didn’t jump into a deep relationship either. We still took time to get to know each (16 years of marriage later and I’m still getting to know him). Our history together has shown me he loves me and is faithful to me and it makes it easy to be faithful to him.
God wants a relationship with us, and he will prove himself to show you he means it. He is faithful to his word and he is faithful to us. It’s ridiculous to think God expects us to be faithful to him at our first encounter with him. It’s a relationship, we all have free will to enter into the relationship and each step, God leads us deeper by letting us see how he loves us and how he remains faithful – even if we chase after other affections, he is still faithful.
The fruit of faithfulness flows from him, so we can have faithfulness to him. Like patience, the only way for faithfulness to grow is to wait it out. Faithfulness happens over time, over a history with God.