Faithfulness is not optional. You can desire to be better all you want, but unless there’s an effort to be faithful nothing will happen.
Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
God requires each one to be faithful. When the Lord gave talents, there was no difference how he judged each one (Matthew 25:14-30). To the ones that did well he said, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” When God saves us, he expects us to be consistent and reliable (dependable, unfailing). He wants us to be faithful, the same day after day.
I Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
God’s character hasn’t changed. He said, “I change not” (Malachi 3:6). God wants to see if he can count on us to pray and have devotions no matter how things in our life change over time. If your car started four days out of the week, would you say it was dependable? God wants to see that we’re being faithful and trusting him to lead us. As the choir song says, “The battle is not yours, it belongs to the Lord. Just trust in him and let him have his way. He will not lead where his grace cannot keep. I know the battle is his, but the victory is mine.” It takes faith to be faithful.
Psalm 27:13-14 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
It’s important that we have faith no matter what the situation is, that we’ll be dependable and reliable. Enoch walked with God and didn’t see death because he pleased God, so God took him. We need to have the testimony that we walk with God. Our family, friends, neighbors, and people at work should see we consistently walk with God.
Hebrews 11:5-6 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and…is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Enoch was dependable for 365 years!
Genesis 5:21-24…Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years…And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Noah believed God and spent over 100 years building the ark.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Genesis 6:14-19 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark…And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits…And, behold, I…bring a flood of waters…to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life…every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and…come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives…And of every living thing…two of every sort…bring into the ark…male and female.
Noah and his family were the only ones that were saved because of his faithfulness to do all that God commanded. God still commands some things today. He commands that we “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37).
Genesis 6:22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
Genesis 7:5 And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.
God told Abraham when he was 75 years old to forsake everything and move. Jesus said we have to forsake all and follow him (Matthew 16:24-25). Abraham didn’t question God even though he’d lived in Haran for 75 years. He didn’t even know exactly where he was going. God won’t ask you to do something without equipping you.
Genesis 12:1…Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and…father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
When Abraham was 100 years old, God told him to go offer his son Isaac for a sacrifice. He got up early and went, even though what God asked him to offer was a precious thing. God wants to know if we’ll be faithful and dependable.
Genesis 22:1-3 And it came to pass…God did tempt Abraham, and said…Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac…into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early…took two of his young men…and Isaac his son…unto the place of which God had told him.
Abraham believed that God’s promise was through Isaac and knew he could raise Isaac from the dead.
Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac…his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead…
Even though Jesus was the son of God, he learned obedience by the things he suffered. God wants to see that we’re faithful to do and to obey what he wants, even when we suffer.
Hebrews 5:8-9 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Rahab believed she would be saved and obeyed the Israelite spies’ instructions. She believed and obeyed the message. God wants us to obey the message and instructions we hear from his servants.
Hebrews 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
Barak was listed as faithful because he believed Deborah who was God’s prophet.
Hebrews 11:32 And what shall I more say?…of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David…
The children of Israel did evil so God sold them into the hand of the enemy. Deborah was the prophetess that the people came to for judgment. There have been women prophets that God gave throughout time. Faith Stewart was a prophet that God sent to Cuba in 1930. Because of her, there are 26 Church of God congregations in Cuba today.
Judges 4:1-5…Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord…the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan …the captain of whose host was Sisera…And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord…twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel. And Deborah, a prophetess…judged Israel…Israel came up to her for judgment.
Barak had confidence in what Deborah said. Barak obeyed and followed what Deborah said.
Judges 4:7-8…the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand. And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.
God wants to see if we will obey our pastor, our prophet. It was important that the people see Barak’s faithfulness and obedience. God wants to see us being faithful, obedient and reliable. This is encouraging to ones watching our lives. Jephthah made a vow to sacrifice whoever met him when he returned if won the battle. It was a rash vow.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and…be hasty to utter any thing…therefore let thy words be few.
Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
We need to be careful about the vows we make. Jephthah realized it was a foolish vow, but his daughter was willing to be offered. Jephthah is listed as faithful because he kept his vow. We make a vow to be faithful and serve God when we’re saved. We have to keep everything on the altar – our wife, husband, children, everything!
Judges 11:29-31 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah…Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then…whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house…when I return in peace…shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)