By Stuart Swartzentruber
God calls each of us to faithful living. The word faithfulness can elicit ideas of predictability, steadfastness, loyalty, and duty. These are great descriptions, but can come across as if being faithful to Jesus is unexciting and never makes waves. Faithfulness as described in the Bible meant radical living and upsetting the status quo.
The faithful men and women recounted in Hebrews 11, although loyal to God, were anything but predictable to onlookers.
For Noah, faithfulness meant standing alone with his family and not succumbing to the pressure of the humanistic, evil thinking of the culture around him. It also included a radical building project!
Abraham left the comforts of an established home and chose a lifestyle of being led by the voice of God, not knowing where he was going. For him it included drastic obedience to God in his willingness to kill his son as a sacrifice, with the belief that God could raise him from the dead.
Moses endured mistreatment with God’s people as part of faithfulness. He radically gave up the incredible wealth of Egypt, choosing rather a deferred, greater reward that was visible only with kingdom eyes.
Moses and Abraham lived with a longing for a future kingdom with God reigning supreme. They kept a sharp focus on that country, even as they lived faithful and engaged lives in the present reality.
Faith is walking in the “between.” That is the position where our feet are securely on this earth but our eyes and heart are receiving direction from another place. It is believing that God’s way is best even when we can’t imagine how the current process can possibly get to His purposes. Faithful people persevere because they see what is invisible to many others.
We long for completion, and are desperate for results we can measure. Being faithful to Jesus necessitates being content that completion is coming, but not demanding that we see the whole picture now.
Hebrews 11:1, NET sums it up like this. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.”
It is a joy for me to see our staff walking boldly into uncharted territory. I see them persevering in spite of not seeing measurable results many times. As I listen to them talk, I can tell that they are seeking to walk that radical life of faith, seeing God’s invisible kingdom and bringing it to earth. I feel privileged to work with people who are faithful to Jesus.
As you read about the ministries of our staff, pray that all of us would be faithful followers of Jesus, walking with joy the life “between.”