Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

knotted vortex in nature Dustin Kleckner and William T. M. Irvine Livescience.com, March 6, 2013

knotted vortex in nature
Dustin Kleckner and William T. M. Irvine
Livescience.com, March 6, 2013

Gordian knots

by Daniel Ng

Trudging high mountains to the valleys, dark below,

Where breath grows thin and courage flees to cold,

Draw warmly then to our sweet Lord, beware to lose Him not,

Grasp that hand with sure faith! 

He will loosen life’s Gordian knots.

 Our Faithfulness

We often make God too small; we put Him in a box, nice and neat, with certain definitions and parameters that conform to our theology, rather than allowing Him to transform us. Because of our finite humanness, cannot have all the answers. It is not about us having all the answers.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

Neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are my ways higher than your ways

And my thoughts higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

We are restricted and limited by time. Our present is momentary. God is not. He is in the past, present and the future. We cannot wrap our minds around that. It is beyond our ability to comprehend. God is unknowable, unsearchable, unfathomable. Rightfully so.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths
. Proverbs 3:5-6

Ah, but trust is difficult for all of us at times.

On Ash Wednesday, our sermon was all about handing our worry over to Jesus. It was about not hanging onto worry, because in doing so, we sin; we sin by communicating to Jesus that we don’t think he is worthy of our trust and faith in Him. So worry not only sucks us into darkness by throwing us into anxiety and depression. It removes us from our Lord by denying Him, just as Peter did. The good news is that He forgives and redeems; He welcomes our regret and return. Oh, how He loves us.

Many of us, in proclaiming our faith, use our own personal transformation as a testimony to our faithfulness, our steadfast belief in God’s work in our lives. We know, without a shred of uncertainty, that God exists, because Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, has laid claim to our hearts. He has shifted our thinking, our willingness to be vulnerable, our commitment to leading honest lives based on love. He has caused an internal and permanent tectonic plate shift; we have been humbled, and we thankfully praise him for that. We know he is with us because we know that except for His grace, we would not be in this place.

Yet, just like Abraham, we try to ‘help God along” by finding ways to push His plan forward, widening the path, jack-hammering road blocks, rushing to achieve God’s promises in our own time. Abraham lied to the Egyptian pharaoh about his relationship with Sarah, endangering both of their lives. Later, he used his servant Hagar to produce a son, even though God had a plan for both Abraham and Sarah in His own time and His own way.

God is in the driver’s seat in this lifelong journey, yet so many times I have tried to shove Him aside to grab the steering wheel. Even though He has made it clear to me where we are going, I still insist on control, still insist on navigating, still insist on wanting Him to be the passenger. How incredibly arrogant and unappreciative am I when I forget that He is the One who has developed the plan, negotiated the terrain, determined the strategy and knows the destination!

Like an obstacle course on a long, narrow and windy road, with a steep cliff on one side and a sheer mountain face on the other, God’s plan can appear arduous and stressful; it can seem like it takes too long when I think I know a shortcut.

Waiting on God takes delighting in Him; it takes being patient and yes, long suffering. It takes trusting with all your heart; it takes understanding that whatever He has planned for you will be beyond your imagination and expectations.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

That is faithfulness.

God’s Faithfulness

We have also experienced God’s faithfulness. Yes, we have read about it in the Bible.

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease.

For His compassions never fail.

They are new every morning.

Great is His faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Aside from knowing about God’s faithfulness, many of us have also been blessed by His faithfulness in our own lives. God’s faithfulness is particularly evident when we choose to walk toward him instead of away from him in those circumstances that evoke fear, grief, anger or doubt.  And it is in these circumstances – in our weakest moments – that God shows His strength. That God lifts us up. That God embraces us and comforts us when we allow Him to.

We receive wisdom or provision or help with a problem we’ve been grappling with for months or even years; we know the solution didn’t generate with us, but came from an unexpected or inexplicable source. We receive strength to turn from bitterness or addiction or stubbornness after years of holding onto to harmful habits; we know it is not within our nature or power to do so on our own. We receive peace or comfort beyond our understanding, as though we truly have been made to lie down in green pastures, led beside still waters, and had our soul completely restored.

How else can we explain the faithfulness of God who extends us love without condition; grace when we have done nothing to merit it; mercy when we do not deserve it at all?

I pray that in faith, as our poet Daniel writes, you “draw warmly to our sweet Lord” who is ever faithful, who reaches out, who will meet you where you are. Let him have your fear, your grief, your anger, your doubt. He will give you love, grace, mercy and forgiveness in return for your honesty. He will surround you and uphold you; He will loosen the knot in your heart.

Gordian Knots copyright 2014 Daniel P.-K. Ng

Daniel writes soul searching poetry that glorifies God’s love and creation. His photographic images enhance his poetry (or maybe it’s the other way around). If one picture can tell a thousand words, his few lines of poetry can tell a lifetime.

Please find Daniel’s poetry and photos at Daniel Frugalberg http://danfrugalberg.com or https://facebook.com/danfrugalberg/

This post can also be seen on Mind’s Seat, www.marmarthunder.wordpress.com

22 comments

  1. Amazing! This is truth, love and conviction. Praise the Lord! It reminds me that our GPS has NOTHING on His. Nothing. This post assuredly had stirred my heart and caused some reflection for me to look at in areas I too have a hard time letting go when I become impatient. God’s timing is everything. If we look back upon where He’s brought us from we should come to realize just how good of a Father He is and that by His grace we are still here to speak of His faithfulness and His grace that is beyond our comprehension. Glory to God. God bless you and your ministry for building, edifying and encouraging all in Christ Jesus.

    ~Terra

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    1. Thank you so much, Terra. I’m with you. When I am willing to pause and look at the difference He has made in my life through the richness of His love and grace, I want everyone to experience the miracle He offers. How could I possibly keep that to myself?

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  2. Mich-in-French · ·

    This is so apt in y life right now Susan and I am so blessed to read this now…remind myself that my fears are not what Father wants me to be pondering on but His plans for my life, His love and His future. I am blessed and reminded again that He is author and finisher of our faith.

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    1. Glad it spoke to you Michelle. We all need the reminder now and then.

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  3. Beautiful post Susan and beautiful poem too. Even when we are faithless or forget what He has done for us, God is still ever-faithful and true. How great is that? Thank you for this reminder my dear friend.

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    1. 🙂 ❤ ( \ 0 / )

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  4. Isn’t it beautiful? His relentless love and faithfulness to us?

    Lovely words, Susan. 🙂

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    1. Relentless – what a terrific word! Yes, it certainly is. Thanks for stopping by, Heather. Your comments are always appreciated.

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      1. 🙂 Love your heart, lady!

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  5. “Waiting on God takes delighting in Him.” Amen! That statement is so profound and liberating. Loved the whole post. His faithfulness is what makes our faithfulness possible. Thanks for sharing this. Blessings to you.

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    1. Thank you, Mel. From you, that is truly a compliment, kind sir. Honestly, sometimes I read my posts days after they go live and know without question these words didn’t come from me. Just sayin’.

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      1. Yes, they come from the Lord, but you’ve let Him beautifully use you. That’s a precious gift. Thanks for sharing it. You are truly a blessing. 🙂

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  6. “He will loosen the knot in your heart.” WOW! So beautifully stated, so wonderfully true!!! Thank you for always saying something I need to hear. Blessitude

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    1. I am convinced, Lorrie, that the Spirit works to give us words that we need to say and hear at the perfect times. He brought us into each others’ lives for lift our hearts.

      I’m so glad we found each other and derive pleasure, grace and peace from our respecting offerings. This is what tithing is really about – the giving of our gifts.

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      1. That is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard and never thought about it that way before! It is true…tithing should be about gifts that come from our hearts…Susan, all I can say is Thank You…thank you for your words (and I believe as you do we hear what we need when we need it) and thank you for the wonderful gift that IS YOU! I am so grateful to see the light that you shine! Lorrie

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      2. Lorrie, thank you so much for your always generous words. You are such a blessing to me each time you visit. When I began to learn about the differences between the Old and New Covenants, and holding the law in our hearts, I always included tithing into that. I know our church pastors probably disagree with this one, but I definitely see tithing differently than most. I see it as more than money; I see it as giving of ourselves, particularly since many of us live on or under the poverty line.

        Thanks again for your comment, and my apologies my reply is so late in coming. Somehow, this fell through the cracks.

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      3. No worries Susan…again everything happens in divine order so I was supposed to receive this beautiful reply just now 🙂

        I have thought a lot about your view of tithing and it really strikes a chord with me. I understand that money is necessary, and that most pastors would disagree with this view. But to me it seems so much more important to “give” of yourself…and it means so much more…at least to me (and it sounds like to you as well.) I so appreciate you and I am very blessed to have you in my life. Blessitude

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  7. God tells us to draw close to Him and He will draw close to us. Life is about knowing pain and disappointment but with faithfulness in God we know His love firsthand. Before this grief, I was always learning and searching, but after grief, I have known personally the results of my faith. Surprisingly enough, I have also learned through my questioning heart and doubtful mind. God bless you, Susan, for all the love and faith that pours from you devotions.

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    1. Thank you, Dale. Your comments are always so kind.
      I think God helps us with our doubts, sometimes providing answers, sometimes providing comfort, but always by walking with us. You are certainly a testimony to that walk.

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