God is faithful, and He expects His people to be faithful. God’s faithfulness does not excuse us from our obligation, for ”it is required” of us that we be faithful. God’s Word speaks of faithful servants, faithful in a few things, faithful in the least, faithful in the Lord, faithful ministers. And all points up to that day when He will say, ”Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
In John we read that many believed on Jesus when they saw His miracles but that He did not believe in them. We have a song, ”Can the Lord Depend on You?” It ought to be sung more often. John wrote to Gaius, ”Thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest. . . ” Gaius was not fitful or flashy, he was faithful. It has been said that the greatest ability is dependability. There is not much preaching on old-fashioned faithfulness. Perhaps one reason is that faithfulness is not very glamorous. If a wife murders her husband, that gets into all the papers. But there are thousands of faithful wives and mothers who never get the spotlight, who grace their homes with loving service, whose husbands and children rise up to call them blessed.
What a terrible time we have in our churches trying to keep people faithful in attendance and loyalty! How we reward and picnic and coax and tantalize church members into doing things they don’t want to do but which they would do if they loved God! The only service that counts is faithful service that issues from love of Christ. The choir singer who does not sing from the heart should get right or get out. True faith shows up in faithfulness.
The work of the pastor is frowned upon in many quarters because it calls for faithfulness in a daily grind of unromantic, colorless duties, and some try to side-step that by moving into more exciting activities.
Christian living calls for faithfulness. Not everyone can sing or preach, but all can be faithful. Maybe that is what takes the glamour out of it—anybody can do it! Anyway, there isn’t much of it. Too many saints go up like rockets and come down like rocks. They prefer to be flashy comets instead of faithful stars. But God prefers those who faithfully let their light shine to those who fitfully show it. It is better not to shine so dazzlingly at one time but rather to shine daily, all the time.
This is the Age of Goofus, of trickery, hocus-pocus, freaks, sleight-of-hand, ”now-you-see-it-and-now-you-
God’s Word has much to say about being steadfast, grounded, settled, built on a rock, not carried about every wind of doctrine. We are not to be weary in well-doing. We ought to be able to say, ”My heart is fixed.” Of course, some saints are permanent fixtures, but our permanence should be the living permanence of a tree, not the dead stability of a tombstone. Too many restless Christians today move from church to church, preacher to preacher, always wanting to be right but never getting right with God, ever learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Some are always laying foundations but never building thereon. Others are ”hypodermic saints,” living on shots of religious excitement instead of growing normally by food, rest and exercise. Unless some stabilization is mixed with our salvation, we are going to have a generation of popcorn Christians, popping all over the place.
It is required of stewards that they be found faithful not fitful. And we are to be faithful over a few things. The preacher who will not preach his heart out before a few people would be no good before a multitude. There are too many eagles on hummingbird nests, too big for their present location and seeking great things for themselves, as did Baruch of old.
This unfaithfulness shows up at church. Too many saints have no local loyalty. They will support a radio preacher at a distance, which is well enough in its place, but will not help a man of God in their own community. He may not be brilliant or well-known, but God did not call him to be that; God called him to be faithful, and if he is faithful we ought to be faithful to him. Away with that view of the invisible church that makes a man invisible at church on Sunday!
Such unfaithfulness shows up at home. It is forcefully enjoined upon bishops and deacons that they be faithful at home; and it is expected of the rest of us. It avails nothing to look pious at the Lord’s table on Sunday if we show no grace at the breakfast table through the week. It is not well in many Christian homes today with husband, wife or child. There needs to be fresh affirmation of Joshua’s resolve: ”As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (By Vance Havner)