I posted a reel on Instagram a few weeks back on what faithfulness is not, and quite a few people (by my standards, lol) were blessed by it. In it, I reminded everyone that faithfulness is not rooted in people-pleasing, demands that others have put on us, or our busy schedules.
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Faithfulness is rooted in our desire to please God above everything, and sometimes, it leads us to do the exact opposite of what others would want. Paul said himself that it’s impossible to please God and man at the same time in Galatians 1:10. If that’s true, that means that people may sometimes question our faithfulness and accuse of us being disloyal, but that’s usually because we’ve failed to live up to a standard they’ve set for us.
Thankfully, God is much easier to please than people, even in all of His holiness, His righteousness, and His perfection.
I just finished reading Ruth Chou Simon’s book When Striving Ceases, and she captured faithfulness perfectly. For those of us who need a little help following Jesus’ example, this one is for us.
She continued to say:
Even he faced brutal death on the cross, Jesus revealed his motivation in staying faithful to the work he’d been given. It was not in pursuit of showing himself worthy or becoming his best self.
To do God’s will and not his own.
To glorify God and not himself.
That we might know that everything is from God.
That we might know God’s love.
Isn’t that glorious? I’ve been recommending her new book to everyone, and you need to add it to your list right now.
Quick Fixes, Hacks, and Beating The Algorithm
People are caught up in quick fixes, hacks that will take them farther, and solutions that will lead them to beat the algorithm in so many more ways than just those on social media. One thing that we have to understand, though, is that faithfulness is best developed with time. No hack can accelerate our breakthrough. We simply have to put in the work, keep the faith, and continue to show up. But that’s not all. We have to keep it in perspective and make sure that our faithfulness glorifies God.
That can be hard to do for a lot of reasons. It’s easy to want to move on from an assignment when our excitement moves on to a new project. It’s easy to try a host of other ideas when you’re listening to gurus in the field, and it’s easy to question if God is still with you when the task you once thought you had so much grace to accomplish gets harder. That’s why I’m grateful we’re talking about the subject on the podcast today.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I had a little bit of Vanessa’s time for the podcast today. I still get chills every time I listen back to some of the responses she gave. Today, I asked her:
- How would you classify faithfulness?
- What were some of the first things you felt God led you to step out on faith and for His glory early on?
- Whose faithfulness in the Scripture help to inspire and challenge you to continue asking God for help in this area?
- What can we do if our faithfulness has begun to fade in the areas of our faith?
- What part of the Spirit’s fruit is it that you feel most challenged by God to develop in this season?
However, the question I am most excited about is one I didn’t plan. I asked what Vanessa’s favorite memories of God’s faithfulness were, and I wasn’t ready for the answer. 🤯 She shared the rare disease she was diagnosed with when she was a child. We retraced the steps she made to trust God in her teenage years. We also discussed, the faithfulness God asked her to show when He called her off her job, and, above all, His faithfulness in the transition.
You have to listen in on this podcast. You have to. This conversation was the perfect conversation to follow Dr. Quanny’s and my conversation two weeks ago on the goodness of God. If you haven’t yet heard that episode yet, click here or subscribe by clicking on the of the links below.
Some of My Favorite Quotes from Vanessa During Our Time Together
Parents, your faith can’t be your child’s faith. It can’t. They’re two different things, but your faith, oftentimes, dictates what your children believe is possible when it comes to their faith.
Oftentimes, I think parents are afraid to let their kids into those moments because of a lack of security, but let them see the faithfulness of their God because I remember when the money randomly showed up.
We’re never too far from redemption. It’s the beauty of the Gospel.
I’ve seen too much of the faithfulness of God for me to believe He’s going to stop now.
The fullness of God is on the other side of faithfulness.
As you are looking to cultivate faithfulness, remember that you have to tie the movement of your soul down somewhere as opposed to just letting it be a feeling because sometimes we mistake what was a feeling and what was a movement of God?
That faithfulness of you showing up, is so much more than a booty in a seat, it’s so much more than your attendance. It’s your actual spiritual growth, and let’s not forget: your church needs you.
The process of faithfulness is not glamorous. It’s tedious. It’s choosing over and over to follow Jesus.-Vanessa Hartsell
The Links and All The Things You Need From This Episode
This Week’s Recommendations
Read 2 Kings 4:18-37 with fresh eyes and a new prayer to invite God to connect you to community in new ways this week.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself or discuss with a friend this week…
- What are some of my favorite memories of God’s faithfulness?
- In what areas or ways have I been struggling with faithfulness in my own life?
- What is one thing I’m going to implement today to develop this part of the fruit in partnership with Holy Spirit?
- Who, in the Bible, can I take notes from on this subject?