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A Return to Faithfulness by Karabo Ramookho

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines faithfulness as steadfast in affection or allegiance; LOYAL firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty; CONSCIENTIOUS, given with strong assurance; BINDING.

When we look at the definition, everything about faithfulness, we see a picture of God: the Creator of the universe, the Lover of our souls and the God who gave us His only begotten Son, just so He could reconcile us to Himself.

In this blog, I want us to focus on the things that breed misalignment between us and God’s faithfulness, the things that make us forget that He is loyal and conscientious. Most of us have, at least once in our lives, tried a diet or even signed up for a gym membership. Before we sign up, we do a little bit of research – we check reviews, we look at before and after photos of those who came before us and lost the weight, and we get ourselves ready by buying the gear we need, like new running shoes and bright, inspiring workout clothes with a matching water bottle. We place the onus of weight loss on things and people we believe know better than us.

The first few days, we stay the course: we fill in food diaries, flood our organs with more water and less coffee, and fill our fridges with fresh produce. Few stay the course; many fail only to try again, over and over again. Failure, in itself, does not mean that we love our bodies any less – we just find it easier to fall into what we know intrinsically versus spiritually. We lose sight of long-term benefits and settle for temporary comforts. We forget why we started, and we just give up.

Some of us stay the course, but we also punish and allow ourselves to be governed by the numbers on the scale. Our happiness is measured by how much weight we lose, and we become obsessive and lose our joy completely in the pursuit of “the perfect weight.”

Both ends of the scale are harmful to us, and those around us, and can be disruptive for the future that God has laid out for us. These Jonah tactics or Abrahamic moves, where we either try to avoid what God has called us to or try to push God’s hand, never really work. I remember that when my husband told me that God was calling us to plant a church, my initial reaction was a solid, “No,” followed grumpily by, “Why would God allow us to buy what I had hoped to be our forever home and then say, ‘I wanna uproot you to a foreign nation?’” When it became apparent that God’s will was going to trump my feeble one, I tried bargaining with God and saying things like, “If God wants us to plant a church in a foreign nation, then he MUST heal my deaf and mute son.” I used all these tactics, just to try to have my way.

The top 5 things that cause us to lose sight of God’s faithfulness are:

1. Needing to have control over everything: Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (ESV)

2. Needing things to work out according to our timelines: 2 Peter 3:8-9: “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (ESV)

3. Misplaced intimacy: John 15:4: “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (NIV)

4. Losing faith / faithlessness: Numbers 23:19: “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”

5. Taking our faith for granted: Philippians 2:12: “Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.” (NLT)

Continuing the weight loss example, most trainers will ask you this question: “Why do you want to lose weight?” and the answers often are, “To look good. To feel healthy. . .” So then when the going gets tough, they may remind you: remember why you started.

Our journey of faith started with a faithful God calling us, in love, while we were sinners (Romans 5:8). Most importantly, remember why Christ started - Christ dying on the Cross was to reconcile us back to God, back to our good, good Father.

Our faithfulness is often tested in the times of waiting, where we are frequently found wanting and focusing on lack, rather than seeking and focusing on Him, the “God [who] has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

At all times, look out for those top 5 things and pray like King David when He said, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23 (NIV)

Faithfulness is being full of faith – and Hebrews 11:1 clearly states, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” (NLT)

Our God Himself is faithful – Loyal and Conscientious (mindful of us) – and His Word is Binding.

Women of Reverence welcomes Karabo Ramookho as a guest blogger.

I am a 41-year old mom. My husband and I will be married 10 years this November.

We fellowship at the Foresight Church in Muldersdrift. I am employed full time in the financial services sector, while my husband is in retail full time and also working as an estate agent.

I am excited to be part of the WOR (Women of Reverence) and look forward to learning from many of the awesome women that God has pulled together.

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