Praying To Be Faithful
Praying To Be Faithful

Praying To Be Faithful

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

A New Adventure

It was the first week of a new adventure. We had just moved to Phoenix, driving through deserts and mountains, entering the city in a road-flooding monsoon, encountering heat that made an oven look inviting, and now I was standing in the bookstore line, waiting to receive my first batch of books for seminary. I was chatting with Julie, when the guy in front of me slowly turned and said, “I’m Chris, where are you from?” And from that day forward we became fast friends, as did our wives. Later I learned that he, being from Georgia, heard another Southern accent behind him in line, the first since his exile to the oasis of the Southwest, and thought, “This will be my new best friend.”

Praying to Be Faithful

Chris was a pastor just down the road from the seminary. We soon moved near his church, within walking distance, started attending, and fell in love with the people there. Julie and I began teaching a marriage class and helped shape the philosophy of children’s ministry. Along the way, my respect for Chris’s thinking and wordsmithing kept growing and growing. I told him many times that he’d be a great writer. I wondered why he wasn’t publishing and being invited to speak all over the country. One day he said something to me I thought was wise beyond his years. “With each passing year I pray less for a successful ministry, and more that I would just be faithful.” He had seen too many “successful” pastors (by human standards) take hard public falls or sometimes even abandon the faith.

His statement has always stuck with me and I often find myself praying the same thing. It’s especially important though to understand the source of our motivation for faithfulness. Our memory verses for July are I Corinthians 1:8-9: “[He] will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” There are so many powerful words in these verses: God sustains, presents us guiltlesscalls us, brings us into fellowship with Jesus Christ. We could meditate all year on, and find strength in, each of these words. But the word that ties into the wisdom my friend Chris shared is faithful. Why are we motivated to pursue faithfulness over public praise? Because God is faithful.  He never leaves us or forsakes us, He loves us and sacrificed for us, He is faithful.

Meditate on His Faithfulness

I don’t know what you’re encountering this week, but I’d encourage you when challenges come to take a moment and just re-read these verses to yourself and meditate on God’s faithfulness. Think of times He has shown Himself faithful to you. I’ve seen God’s faithfulness in hundreds of big and small ways during my short tenure as pastor at Valley View. I believe He is just beginning to move in our midst. I’m praying that each of us would walk in the power of the Holy Spirit this week and watch God open doors for us to share the gospel all over Southwest Louisville!

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