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Capacity for Faithfulness
November 16, 2016 growing in faith

A capacity for faithfulness and obedience

What do you think? Do we have a capacity for faithfulness and obedience? I can still hear some people trying to assure me that it is impossible for a person to be faithful in marriage. I strongly disagree.

We are called to faithfulness by God, granted a capacity for obedience by God and we are empowered by the Spirit of God.

God wanted to teach this to His people and told Jeremiah (in Jeremiah 35) to invite the Recabites to a social function and offer them wine. As God and Jeremiah had predicted they refused to drink because it was against their ancestor’s command. The Recabites were a guild of highly-skilled metalworkers. In order to keep their trade secrets, they had carefully arranged their marriages and practiced the abstinence from intoxicants for centuries.

The Recabites didn’t care how the others lived or what was a popular thing to do. They had a strong identity and they were faithful and obedient for their tradition. God wanted his people to acknowledge that they did not only have a special calling but also a capacity for faithfulness and obedience just like the ordinary Recabites.

Then the LORD’s word came to Jeremiah: The LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: Go and tell the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem: Can’t you learn a lesson about what it means to obey me? declares the LORD. Jonadab, Rechab’s son, commanded his descendants not to drink wine, and to this very day they have not drunk wine, obeying their ancestor’s instruction. But I have spoken to you again and again, and you haven’t listened to me. I have sent you all my servants, the prophets, time and again, saying, “Each of you, turn from your evil ways and reform your actions; don’t worship or serve other gods. Then you may live in the fertile land I gave to you and your ancestors.” But you haven’t paid attention or listened to me. The descendants of Jonadab, Rechab’s son, have thoroughly obeyed their ancestor, but this people have not listened to me. Therefore, this is what the LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, says: I’m going to bring upon the people of Judah and all those who live in Jerusalem the disaster I pronounced against them, because they wouldn’t listen to me or respond when I called. (Jeremiah 35: 12-17, CEB, emphasis added)

Use your God-given capacity to faithfulness and obedience

What could this mean to us? As children of God we are called to obey God and his commandments. God is calling us to follow him, but only Him. We are not to care about what is popular and how the others around us live. Plain and simply, we are not to live of the world. Each time we give in to the popular culture, we become a bit less ourselves.

In order to become who we were created to be, we need to stick to God’s plan for us. We need to practice our capacity to faithfulness and obedience in everything. Just remember: we are not left alone to do this. We are empowered by the Spirit of God. Hence we just need to remember to get regularly refueled. If we cut ourselves off the vine, we will die. In order to be fully alive, we need to cling to Jesus, no one else. But just as God blessed the Recabites, God will bless all who faithfully and obediently follow him.

 

Gracious God,
Forgive us for buying the lies of the world.
Empower us to live fully in You.
Grant us wisdom to choose wisely,
grace to obey You joyfully and
strength to serve You faithfully.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: What do you think? Do we have the capacity for faithfulness and obedience?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you continue your journey faithfully and obediently!

Image Recabites refuse to drink the wine offered by Jojakim, the king of Juda, and Jeremiah” courtesy of Biblical Art on WWW by Francois Maitre (1475-80). This post is refurbished from 2011. Linking up with Unite the Bloggersphere and #tellhisstory.

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