- Adam Butler
Faithfulness is Not an Option; It is a Command
If you’ve been working tirelessly to pursue God’s will and serve Him, but you have not been seeing the “results” you might have been expecting; if you’ve been trying to minister to people, and use your gifts and talents to further the Kingdom of God, with little to show for it; if you’ve been staying faithful and trying to be a voice of truth in a culture of lies, but it seems like no one is listening; let me encourage you.
God calls us to a life of faithfulness. Part of what it means to follow Christ is to die to ourselves; that requires sacrifice. It requires saying “no” to many things in the culture around us. And, it certainly requires us to take on a life of relentless obedience to the commands of Jesus. But, this is not without reason.
Being faithful to Jesus is not an option. It is a command. When our identities are made new in Christ, and we put off the old, taking on a life of faithfulness to Jesus, He becomes our identity. That is, we have a new mission and a new purpose: to know Him and make Him known. But this is not optional.
Greg Koukl put it this way: faithfulness is not theologically complex. In other words, obeying the commands of Christ is not a complex task theologically. It simply involves adhering to the words of Scripture. However, it can be challenging when we approach it from a fleshly mindset.
Often times, we believe there ought to be instant gratification for the works we do in Christ’s name. After all, we have been conditioned to think so in almost every aspect of our lives, thanks to our fast-food, fast-paced, I-want-it-now culture of consumerism. But Christianity is a different call. It is a call to die. We are called to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Carrying a cross is not an easy task. But it is not theologically complex, either.
Jesus is not a means to an end. That is, we do not follow Him and remain faithful to Him for our sake or benefit. Rather, we do all things for His glory. That said, if it ever feels as though your faithfulness, ministry, or pursuit of being a voice of truth is not working, remember that you are furthering God’s Kingdom, not your own.
As hard as it is to accept, there may not be visible results on this side of eternity for the work you’ve put in through using your gifts for God’s glory. But that is not a reason to stop. It is an all-the-more reason to continue. Paul says “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
We may never see the fruit of our faithfulness. But God does. The ministry you’ve started may not be growing as fast as you were hoping, if at all. But God knows the hearts of the people involved. If the reasoning for your ministry is solely God’s glory, and to see people come to know Christ, then you are doing the right thing. Don’t give up.
You may be mocked, and even persecuted, for staying faithful amidst a culture of lies. You may be laughed at, scorned, and rejected by people that you love. But don’t give up yet.
Faithfulness is not an option; it is a command. We are commanded to be salt and light in the midst of our ever-changing culture; even when it means we take the unpopular road in most things. Being faithful to the Biblical view of marriage is not popular. Being faithful to the Biblical view of the sanctity of life is not popular. Being faithful to the Biblical view of one truth (Jesus being the only way) is not popular. But these aspects of our faith are not optional; they are commands for us to follow. Being a Christian means taking on the identity of a completely, committed follower of Christ.
Do not lose heart; God is working in ways we may never see. Too many Christians measure success based on the world’s standards, rather than the Kingdom of God. When we stand before Him one day, will we have sought the words “well done” from the world, or from our Heavenly Father?