Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Does Faithfulness Equal Blessing?



I’ve been under the heavy hand of the Lord lately. I'm feeling like a cup of packed brown sugar, pressed down – not from rebuke or correction, but from blessing and overflow. I’m not complaining at all. Given a choice between rebuke or reward, anyone would choose reward. As I’ve shared my experiences with friends close to me, they’ve celebrated what’s happening for me and offer comments, such as, “The Lord is blessing your faithfulness,” or “You’ve been faithful all these years, and the Lord is rewarding you.” I appreciate their sentiments, but is it really because I’ve been faithful, or is it because He is faithful?

For every outward witness of faithfulness on my part, there are at least as many (and much more) times when I’ve been faithless. I know my heart, and my thoughts –scandalous at best and heinous at its worst. Paul said, “There is nothing good in me, except Christ,” (paraphrasing Romans 7 & 8). Sadly, how much more true it is of me. So, no. To my friends I say, “Thank you for observing Christ in me, but His blessing has nothing to do with my faithfulness, and everything to do with His faithfulness.”

2 Timothy 2:11-13, The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.

He remains faithful. He is faithful to the ones who are more mature in their faith than me, and He is also faithful to the believers who put themselves under opposition because they believe lies rather than walk in truth. He sends rain on the just and the unjust. It’s who He is, and He can’t BE anything different.

It’s dangerous thinking to say, our being faithful equals God’s manifest blessing. It leads to performance, which is something I struggle with already; I don’t need further justification to move in that direction. But then, what can be said of the recent blessings and forward movement? If there is a correlation between something I’ve done, and the subsequent blessings it is this:

Luke 1:45, Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.

I’m not the only beneficiary of this promise. What has He whispered to your heart? What plans is He making with you? Dear one, believe His words. Hold them onto them as your hope. They are true and trustworthy.

The Lord spoke some specific words about my life, my future and my legacy – the works He had planned for me; and for those works to come to fulfillment, it required His blessings (open doors, opportunities and favour). I believed His word to me. He did everything.

All Christians everywhere are included in the promises we’ve been given, which are in the Bible. God is working out history to be His story. God is all about the big picture and yet He is in the details too. He’s incredibly intimate and personal with each one of us, and He has a purpose and plan just for you. It’s unique, and tailored to your expression of His character on the earth. For some it may coincide with earthly riches and fame with influence which is deep and wide. For most of us, let it be enough that your name is celebrated in heaven and feared in hell. No matter what though, enjoy His blessings in the process – it’s not what you do, but what He does.

God alone is faithful, He cannot deny Himself, and His promises to you - to us - are faithful to fulfillment.

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