How Faithful Have You Been?
by Babangida Joseph
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In life we tend to gravitate towards people who have been faithful to us. Those who are faithful to a cause, to a relationship, to a marriage commitment, to their studies, find fulfillment. These are people we can trust. These are people we want to be around. This should challenge you. Do people want to be around me because I am committed to a cause, or faithful to them in one way or the other?
Most times relationships break up because one or both parties have failed in keeping the commitments they made to each other. Whether the commitment is in writing or verbally communicated, once there is a breach, once it is perceived that someone has not remained faithful in upholding their part of the commitment, friction is created. It may worsen to the point where such cause is aborted, or the relationship, severed.
How faithful have you been in your place of work? How faithful have you been in your marriage? How faithful have you been in managing the church’s finances? How faithful have you been in keeping your commitments to others? Ultimately, the question we must all face is “how faithful have I been in my relationship to the LORD? To the resources He has bestowed on me? To the gifts and talents He endowed me with?” Our relationship with Jesus the Christ must be the pivot – the focal point in our lives. Do we hurt His feelings through our unfaithfulness? Really, if you and I are placed on a scale of faithfulness, how much are we going to weigh?
Let’s assume you just got married on a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon. At night, after family and friends have left you alone, you chose to consummate your marriage by becoming intimate with your spouse. (I am sure that would be splendiferous. For now I can only imagine it). Anyway having reached the peak of the mountain of pleasure, you both relaxed to a night of restful and blissful sleep. By morning – Sunday morning, you both dressed in the attire you used during your traditional wedding, or a new set you sewed just for this occasion.
Enthusiastically, during the service, the minister presented you to the cheering congregation. You later went home in raptures anticipating another moment of intimacy. By the time the honeymoon was over, Sir, you’re off to work only to return home in the evening to behold your lovely wife in an intimate embrace with an ex-boyfriend – the one she told you she’s through with. You will absolutely feel that someone has crossed a sacred boundary. You will feel betrayed. You will feel like sending someone to eternity without giving him or her time to prepare. I know some of you inwardly have said “God forbid!” with all vehemence to show how you feel about the disturbing and unwelcome situation.
However, the picture I just painted on your mind is not rare. It is not like the paintings and/or sculptures of the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso or Michelangelo that you have to go to heavily guarded museums to view. Some of us live out this picture virtually every day of our lives.
Now, before you get lost, this is the analogy: Jesus Christ wooed us until we become interested enough to want to marry Him. The bride price? Not yams, not goats, not boxes full of clothes. The price He paid was His life. He was beaten, bruised and battered. He was rejected, reviled and ridiculed. He was slapped, scorned and spat at. He was condemned, crushed and crucified. He that was noble was made naked. In heaven, He wore a crown of gold; on earth, a crown of thorns. That was all part of the price. After His death, they pierced Him on the side and blood and water gushed out. The blood and the water were for the cleansing of His bride. The blood and the water qualify us to be His bride – white, clean, spotless, unblemished, without wrinkle. Then they laid Him in a tomb. However, three days later, in sparklingly white apparel, He appeared to claim His bride who enthusiastically joined with Him in an intimacy that is unrivalled. O what joy; o what bliss.
Still enthralled in this joyful union, he comes to us in the cool of the day seeking us out only to find out that we have been dining all evening with our ex-lover, and eventually ending up in bed with him. That was the same ex-boyfriend we promised Him we would never be entangled with. The same ex-boyfriend we pledged never to have anything to do with is now sharing our bed. Not forcefully but willingly. By the way, that ex-boyfriend is the devil.
Any time we flirt with the devil, any time we accept a date with him, any time we receive a gift from him, any time we allow him to take us on a ride, we prove our unfaithfulness and break the LORD’S heart into a million tiny pieces. It pains Him so much He will want to send us to the deepest part of hell without a second thought. And He has every justification to do just that.
But no. Even though He knew we’ve gone to bed with the devil, even though He knew we’ve spent all day in the devil’s camp picnicking with his cohorts (the demons), He still wants us. Messed up all day yet by evening He’s seeking us asking “where art thou?” He succinctly wants to know “do you love Me more than these?” “Are these pleasures enough to make you become unfaithful to me?”
You may have wandered far away from Him. He still wants you. “Where is the bill of divorcement that I gave you?” He wants to know. And with tear-stained face He concludes: “My house is where you belong. I’ve paid the price for you. Come home.”
He’s prepared a table for you. He’s asking you to come to His banqueting hall. His banner over you is love. Don’t delay one moment. Come just as you are. Wounded, battered, wretched, naked, ashamed. It doesn’t matter just come. Stop hiding behind the trees. Stop clothing yourself with fig leaves. There’s a white raiment all yours if you’d come.
I hope someone reading these lines will say this with me and mean it with all their hearts: “I’ve heard His voice. I’m hiding no more. I’m taking off my fig leaves. I want to keep my commitment to Him. I want to be faithful. Yes, I’m coming to the LORD.” What about you?
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.
Behold, now is the acceptable time;
Behold now is the day of salvation”.
Hebrews 4: 7; 2 Corinthians 6: 2.
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