Ecc 7:14 ESV In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.
Life is full of both good and bad. Life will always, this side of eternity, be filled with good days and bad days, of good seasons and bad seasons. Good or bad, up or down, the Lord God Almighty remains in their midst. He is in the bad times as well as in the good times. It is here that we must realize that just because there are bad times, this in no way means the Lord has left us to fend for ourselves, or that we are somehow less in his eyes or even that he is always the source of these bad times.
These seasons of good and bad are to keep us in a place of dependency upon the Lord God. We’re to always look to the Lord, even in the good times and not just in the bad times. He is to be our very breath, our very focus, our very heart and soul. He is one who loves us and remains faithful, in richer or poorer, in good times and bad, in sickness and health. The problem isn’t the faithfulness of God, for as his word tells us, he is faithful even when we are not, for he cannot deny himself, he cannot deny who he is, he cannot deny his righteous and holy character.
Jos 24:14 ESV “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
It is us that become the point of concern. Will we be faithful, in the good and bad times, seasons, venues of life and living? God is in all things and at all times faithful and trustworthy. However we cannot say these things very often about people, especially in this day and age. So, what is faithfulness, really and what then ultimately determines faithfulness for us, as the people of God?
In English this word is linked to loyalty, steadfastness, allegiance, etc. As an “adjective satellite” it speaks to our being marked by fidelity to an original, or in other words our being a faithful representation of the original. It is this meaning in English that really captures for us a very clear set of questions. Are we being a faithful rendering of Christ Jesus in the earth? Are our lives marked by a fidelity to Christ Jesus, alone? Provocative definitions and questions, aren’t they?
Why? I believe that we are called to remain steadfast and loyal to the Lord Jesus Christ and His will, word and ways, in all things and at all times. In order for us to do this, we need to become those who are increasingly faithful representations of the original, the Lord Jesus. Jesus is the first, the original, the first fruits of which we are to be copies, representations of, those who are made in the likeness and image of, etc. So, as we develop this thought and thinking, the question then arises of just what does it mean then to walk out this kind of faithfulness?
1Jo 2:4-6 ESV Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, (5) but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: (6) whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
In verse six, we find in a nutshell the very clarity we seek. Whoever says that he abides in him, ought or must, walk as he did or in the same way or manner, he walked. This is very straightforward and clear. If you are not convicted by this, then I can only say, sorry. When we see Jesus as indeed the standard by which our very lives are to be compared, then we all will fall short. However, as short as we may find ourselves, we are none the less called to indeed, learn to walk as he walked. It is, as we come, by the power of god the Holy Spirit, to walk as Jesus walked, more and more, that we find ourselves becoming those who are indeed learning what it is to walk in faithfulness, as truer representations of the original, the Lord Jesus. So, is this an unrealistic expectation or hope? I do not believe so.
Act 4:13 ESV Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
When brought before their spiritual leaders, it was obvious to these rulers that Peter and John were nothing more than ordinary, uneducated and common men, but as leaders they were astonished. Why? Simply because it was equally obvious that these men had been with Jesus, for they were doing as Jesus had done when He was walked upon the earth. They were being faithful representations of the original, their Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. These rulers had heard and possibly had seen for themselves how Jesus had lived. Therefore it was no small complement that these men were seen as those who had been shaped by the very life and ministry of Christ Jesus. They were being and doing just as he had been and done.
Why? Very simply it was indeed Jesus being and doing, in and through them. They were living their lives in complete surrender unto their Lord and Savior Christ Jesus, by the power of God the Holy Spirit. So much so, was this true, that they spoke and behaved recognizably as Jesus in the earth. It is this level of faithfulness that we are all called to walk out. It is the same level of faithfulness that Jesus walked out. For Jesus lived out his life as that which was of the Father. He was the exact representation of the Godhead, in the earth. He came to reveal to us all the heavenly Father God. Jesus was in spirit and truth a faithful representation of the original, God the Father.
Heb 1:3 ESV He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Jesus is the exact imprint (representation) of God the Father’s nature. Jesus was filled to the full with the fullness of the Godhead (Col 2:9) as such he spoke what the Father God was speaking, he did what the Father God was doing, he went where the Father God was going, all the way to the cross. As Jesus walked even so are we to walk. As Jesus spoke, did, and went, even so are we to speak, do and go. In truth, it is actually to be in the present tense: as he speaks, we are to speak, as he does, we are also to do and as he goes, we are also to go. It is here that we will find the true meaning of faithfulness, our becoming true copies of the original.
How are we to do this? Well, Paul speaks to do this in:
Col 2:10 ESV and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
Phi 2:13 ESV for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
As Jesus was filled with the fullness of the Father, even so are we filled with he who is the head, Christ Jesus. As a result of this we have the promise that the Father is at work in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). Having begun his good work within us, he will finish it (Phil 1:6). For faithful is he who has called us, who will also perform it (1Thess 5:24).
It is when we become increasingly dependent upon and obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ, that we will find ourselves living out the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus, in all we say, do and everywhere we go, walking as he walks, today. It is this call that is for each and every one of us. He has blessed us, with everything that we need for his life and godliness (god-like-ness). All we need to do is learn to surrender and yield to the reality of Christ in us the Hope of Glory, learning to hear his voice and obey him in all that we face, live and walk out in life that he would, in spirit and in truth, be revealed through us, in Glory. It is here that we discover what it truly means to walk in his faithfulness; as faithful copies of the original.