Hello friends, and welcome back to our blog series through the Fruit of the Spirit! I’m so excited to introduce you to my sweet friend today. Her name is Becca Kuest, and she has such a deep love for the Lord, her husband Kyle, their cute dog Griffey, and a gift for writing. I hope you soak up her words today on faithfulness. Here she is!
Two important things to know about me:
1) I love a good analogy and 2) I love to share about my dog Griffey.
He’s an adorable, black-tri Australian shepherd with boundless energy and a relentless desire to give and receive affection. Australian shepherds were originally bred to herd sheep. Since there’s no sheep around, Griffey herds me and my husband Kyle. Griffey is constantly by my side, and if I leave a room, he is quick to follow me.
I love that about him, but at times, it’s a bit overwhelming, especially when I’m bouncing from room to room in my 800 square foot apartment trying to get things done. He doesn’t make it easy to navigate the tight corners when he’s right there by my legs. For my sanity and productivity, sometimes I have to close the door behind me so I can focus on whatever is in front of me. Every single time I do that, Griffey lays down outside of the door and waits for me to come back out.
So cute right?! He seriously is the best dog ever! One of the things I love about him is how often He reminds me of the character of God. Griffey’s faithfulness to me reminds me of God’s faithfulness to us, except God is perfectly faithful. Even when my sin closes the door on God, He is still waiting faithfully for me to come back to Him again.
Faithfulness is such a rich word, and when we lean into its meaning, we discover words like loyal, constant, devoted, or steady in allegiance or affection. That last definition is my favorite, because it reminds me of passages like this one from Lamentations:
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.” – Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
As I prepared for this study on faithfulness, I noticed that steadfast love and faithfulness are mentioned together several times in the Bible, especially in the book of Psalms.
“For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.” – Psalm 26:3 (ESV)
“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” – Psalm 36:5 (ESV)
“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” – Psalm 86:15 (ESV)
“I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.” – Psalm 89:1 (ESV)
God’s faithfulness to us is perfect because it is fueled by His steadfast love for us.
In the same way, what we love drives what we are faithful to. When we are unfaithful to God, we need to evaluate where our love is being misdirected. We are always being faithful to something, but how are we faithful to God?
Growing up in the church, I frequently battled legalism in my faith. To be honest, it’s still a struggle in my relationship with God today. Too often I believe the lie that I have to earn salvation and that by doing things for God, I will earn His faithfulness and be seen as a faithful servant in return.
While doing things for God is admirable, we cannot earn God’s love or faithfulness. When we were separated from Him in our sin, God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross, pay the penalty of our sin, and restore a right relationship with us. That is true love, unconditional and undeserving.
Similarly, faithfulness is not something we earn or gain by our own doing. Like the other Fruit of the Spirit, faithfulness is developed in us by the Holy Spirit Himself. Remember back to the first post in this study. Cherie reminded us of Jesus’ words in John 15:
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” – John 15:4 (ESV)
Jesus is the true vine, and as we spend time with Him, He will grow fruit in and through us, faithfulness included. It can be easy to believe that God will only give us just enough, but what we see throughout Scripture is that God gives us an overabundance. He wants to pour out His faithfulness in us so that it overflows into faithful discipleship and friendship with others.
If you are reading this today and you recognize that your sin has created a door between you and God, please listen to me friend…you do not need to feel shame. This is an invitation. God is waiting for you on the other side of that door, ready to welcome you into His faithful arms again.
Before you move on to the next thing in your day, take a moment and reflect on this question: What are you being faithful to? If the answer isn’t God, confess your sins right now and ask God to fill you with steadfast love for Him. Abide in Jesus and watch as He grows you in faithfulness to Him and to others.