God is faithful. We see this repeatedly throughout the Scripture. We see this so much throughout the scripture that “REPEAT” is our theme for this coming summer. It is the existence and the experience of this faithfulness that keeps our focus on God, His work, and His calling us to His purposes.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.
“Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.” This is a great reminder of the extent of God’s faithfulness to us through the work of Jesus by way of His teachings, death, and resurrection. It is something we are called to cherish and keep, to protect and remember. It is also something that we can forget and be distracted from by the same faith inspiring repetitiveness that makes it so wonderful. The author of Hebrews cautions us not to be led away from this encouraging truth by way of diverse and strange teachings. We are not to allow the repeated faithfulness of God to become mundane due to new and different teachings which come and go with the wind.
Our desire is to be receiving new and different information so regularly that we accidentally start to turn away from things that have proven themselves with repeatedly faithful results. God obviously anticipates this and gives us a few encouragements in the Scripture to keep us from falling into this trap. Let’s address one of those encouragements:
Keep in Step With the Spirit
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
God is ALWAYS faithful and repeatedly shows His faithfulness in our lives. So what about those times we don’t FEEL like God is repeatedly showing that faithfulness in our lives? This is where the concept of keeping in step with the Spirit comes into play. Although God IS always faithful, we don’t always experience that faithfulness in our lives due to being OUT of step with the Spirit. When we get out of step with the Spirit we get distracted by the diverse and strange teachings around us. We are like a child lagging behind their parents looking at everything around them beside where they are supposed to be going. We are like the hiker who lags behind the guide and gets smacked with the branch that was moved so they could safely follow. We are like the adventurer who thinks they know where they are going and what they need to do but ends up in a giant pit because they got ahead of the directions for safe navigation. Needless to say, when we don’t keep in step with the Spirit, we don’t experience the safety, security, and faithfulness God exhibits over every aspect of our life.
What we often fail to realize is that walking with God, keeping in step with the Spirit, and experiencing God’s faithfulness is much like climbing a spiral staircase. Each step looks the same. We repeat the same motion over and over and over but the surroundings often look the same as we move. We feel like we are walking in circles and getting nowhere (we are walking in circles). In reality, though, we are getting ever closer to our destination at the top of the stairs. We are constantly moving higher than we were the previous moment. One step at a time we are gaining clearer understanding of our surroundings and the steps we have taken on our journey. The motion seems repeated but our depth of experience, our proximity to our goal, and our knowledge of the process increases with each step.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
(Also see Matthew 22:34-40; Luke 10:25-28; Mark 12:28-34)
When you read the whole of these two passages you see that God also gives them warning from turning away from recognizing their faithfulness. God makes clear to them the difficulty and struggles which will befall them when the repeated faithfulness of the Lord is replaced with the worship of diverse, strange, Gods and practices. The passages are an encouragement that the WORD of God is the means to keep in step with the Spirit. We should repeatedly be reading and understanding Gods Word, making it the first thing on our minds and hearts, in order to continue recognizing and experiencing Gods faithfulness in our lives. These are the things that will keep us in step with the Spirit. “In order to experience the repeated faithfulness of God we are called to repeatedly interact with His Word.”
God constantly reminds those in the Old Testament of the things He has done out of faithfulness to them so that they might remember His faithfulness. For us He has given us the written record of these instances along with the result of Israel not remembering God’s faithfulness and the things they turn to when they don’t remember or feel that faithfulness. We are called to repeatedly read what God has done so we can repeatedly remember what God has done in order to repeatedly experience what God is doing and repeatedly rejoice in His promises for the future.
Here is a list of verses where God’s faithfulness is recognized by those God chose to record His special revelation.
Hebrews chapter 11 is the quintessential chapter seeing what happens when individuals act in faith because of a recognition of the repeated faithfulness of God. There are countless stories of God doing the impossible, delivering His people, and strengthening individuals through the insufferable. These stories exist for us to read them and repeat reading them to remember the faithfulness of God to enable us to keep in step with the Spirit. We are to keep in step with the Spirit so that we can experience and benefit from that faithfulness God exhibits in our lives every single day.
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Passages regarding Gods Faithfulness
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