Faithfulness is a lifestyle, not just a moment. And in just a moment, a faithful man can fall.
This past week, someone I highly regarded walked away from Christ. My heart hurts. This person impacted many and now has left that legacy on the floor, choosing the opposite lifestyle void of faith.
Such a decision creates disillusionment in the body of Christ when a leader is no longer faithful to God. We wonder why and fear that we could go the same way, too, apart from the grace of God. When “good men” fall, we take time to examine ourselves and understand afresh that there is no one good, no not one, apart from Christ, Who is our righteousness.
We must follow God and not man.
Rather than judgment, I want to know what led to this falling away. How, if someone has tasted and truly seen that the LORD is good, could they ever turn away from Him?
• Deception. The enemy is cunning.
• Disillusionment. Life is hard and even God’s people can hurt us.
• Influence. Worldliness is not to be underrated. Compromise by degrees can lead to a massive shift.
• Self-righteousness. When we think we have the answers or man does, we are treading dangerous waters.
• Religion. When we start to worship the organization more than the One who started the body of Christ, we worship the created rather than the Creator and become immersed in Christian culture rather than a relationship with God.
Our mindsets shift. And drift. This is natural and the battle of the mind we must face daily. And it must be fought with an equal, if not greater force. Unless we have an anchor constantly fixated on the mind of Christ, we will drift. Hezekiah had such a mind.
“Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the Lord had given Moses. So the Lord was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did.”
2 Kings 18:5-7a
He remained faithful. Not just for a season or in a moment, but faithfulness defined him. The pattern he set for his relationship with God stuck.
2 Kings 19:14-19
“After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord: “O Lord, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. 16 Bend down, O Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God.
17 “It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. 18 And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. 19 Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God.”
• Hezekiah sought God first.
• Hezekiah praised God first – acknowledging the truth about who God is and how awesome His character is.
• Hezekiah brought his burdens before God, stating the problem AFTER praising God. This put his problem into perspective and under God.
• Hezekiah made his appeal, for the glory of God, not himself.
Humility is central to a faithful life.
When we don’t give ourselves credit and don’t look for fulfillment in this earth, we stay centered on Christ.
But we will all be tested.
So many things crowd in, hard times roll in, ebbing away at our faithfulness to God. Unless we have an undivided heart. God’s people knew that they were to worship God, but they also worshiped other “gods”, too.
What prevents us from being faithful?
• We worship God AND . . .
• We get distracted by life’s curveballs and wonder what God is doing. (Doubt Him).
• Our minds, once set on God, can drift by degrees until our dubious mindset creates confusion and discerning truth becomes cloudy.
We must counter the drift with mind renewal every day in the word of God.
Friends, I am in the same boat as you. The drift happens to us all. May God help us to continually point our sails to Him and to abide in Him. He is faithful, and He will do this in us! Praise His Name!