We see faithful God manifest in His indwelling presence and power. His faithfulness is part of what defines Him, an intrinsic part of who and what He is that is eternal and unchangeable, the Rock that underpins our faith.
Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; (Deuteronomy 7:9)
It’s something of a family joke that yours truly cannot – read cannot in capitals – garden without rocks. Do not ask me to open up a new bed without a few handy rocks. It’s like trying to fit a marshmallow into a piggy bank slot – it simply won’t happen. Fortunately, I live atop a steep bank so I can indulge this peculiar fetish to my heart’s content. I wouldn’t have a garden otherwise. What I’ve realised, though, is that it’s because they ‘talk’ to me. Like mini mountains, they remind me of my God, my Rock. Mountains are my favourite places because up there, it seems so much simpler and easier to commune with God. They are eternal and strong, and they speak of a faithful God who is immeasurably able and willing to meet my every need. My garden rocks are a daily reminder of who and what He is.
Faithful God defines relationship.
I was both encouraged and humbled today to have a few small reminders of just what faithful God really means. Part of the story is not mine to tell, but suffice it to say that I am currently facing one of the greatest challenges of my Christian walk. It’s one of those situations where one hangs onto verses like ‘nothing is impossible with God’ because only God can provide what is needed. I think of it as a ‘faith growth-spurt’ because I can feel Him stretching me way beyond where I’ve ever been before. My Dad had a saying which has stuck with me – when you think you’ve reached the end of your tether, tie a knot in it and hang on. It’s got me through some really rough times in my life, and I now replace tether with faith and hang on to Jesus.
What struck me today was that faithful God defines relationship. It describes His love and care and the unfailing detail in it. They were all small things but together, they clearly revealed God in the details. They revealed the Father heart of God for His children, even in the seemingly little things. We might still be waiting for the impossible, but seeing His love revealed in these small, intimate ways encourages and builds faith. If He has care for the little, He also has care for the large. He’s not a distant, omnipotent God but a present omnipotent God. His relationship with us is one of nurture, provision, and guidance. He works in everything, and our miracle may sometimes be the result of a myriad of tiny details that together achieve the impossible. His love is personal and intimate, and He meets us where we are in every moment.
Faithful God is absolute.
Today’s verse reminds us of a powerful truth. God defines Himself by His faithfulness. Of course, His other attributes also define Him because His nature cannot be limited to a single characteristic. But it’s important to remember that He reveals Himself to us by His various names or descriptions. Faithful God is so much more than simply a ‘handle’ we can attach to Him. It’s a revelation of His nature – a nature which is unchanging and eternal. The faithfulness of God is absolute. It’s an integral part of who and what He is and is ‘forever,’ just as He is. He keeps His covenants forever. His promises are forever. Even His mercy has no end. Everything He says or promises or covenants will be fulfilled. This is the relevance of the truth that He watches over His Word to fulfil it. His faithfulness is who He is.
To say that faithful God is absolute means that nothing – not self, the world, the devil, circumstance, or situations – can alter or affect it. He is faithful even when we are unfaithful. Our foolishness may delay things along the way, but His Word will always come to pass. This is the Rock on which we stand, and in which our faith is rooted. Our eternally faithful God will not forget, change His mind, get distracted, or fail to do what He has said for any reason. He will not because He cannot. God cannot deny Himself – who He is. He isn’t influenced by public opinion, what is politically correct, or what others may think is best. We can stand firm in the sure and certain knowledge that His faithfulness is infinite, eternal, and perfect. And with it is His mercy – as unfailing and infinite as His great love.
Faithful God is manifest in His presence.
I often wonder at the incredible privilege of the I AM dwelling in His people. That is relationship at its most perfect. It’s awe-inspiring to think that He cares for us so much that He is willing to presence Himself in us – not now and then but always. It occurred to me that this was the manifestation of faithful God. When He said He would never leave us or forsake us, this is what He meant. Jesus came to take the cost of our sin and make a way to restore us to God. But He also came to fulfil this promise, to make it possible for God to be ever present in us rather than simply with us. His faithfulness is so complete that there is no separation. He lives in us and works in us and for us and manifests in even the tiniest details of our lives.
When we face the seemingly impossible, this is a powerfully encouraging truth. At these times, it’s all too easy to feel alone. We can get so distracted by the circumstances that we forget the eternal, faithful presence of God. Too many Christians fall into the trap of assuming that things are rough because we’ve done something or not done something and God has withdrawn. He may be waiting for us to make a choice or to listen to His voice, but He hasn’t gone anywhere. He can’t. He’s God. The faithful God whose faithfulness cannot fail and whose mercy is without end. When times get rough, we need to look for Him in the little details as well as the large. He loves to confirm His presence in the little, intimate ways that reveal that He knows and understands. His presence will always manifest in His faithfulness.
Faithful God and our faith.
I believe that the reason God wants to manifest His presence in the little things is that we learn to see and know Him as faithful God. He wants us to recognise Him as a part of our normal daily lives rather than only the God of the impossible. The reason for this is that it builds our faith. When we see God move – and often especially in the things we might think too small for His attention – we see God. We see His faithfulness and are reminded of His indwelling presence. Our faith is not only based on knowledge – the Word – but on practical experience. It moves from truth to relationship, to an intimacy based on truth. When we see faithful God in the little things we can believe for the big ones. The relationship of trust is already in place and we’re assured of His presence.
For a God who’s Spirit, holy, glorious, and majestic, He’s also wonderfully practical. It’s a comfort that He knows me intimately –including my spots and blemishes. Faith means knowing that with God, we don’t have to pretend. My failings don’t chase Him away. He was willing to give Himself to overcome them. That’s the ultimate proof of faithful God, and we cannot help but respond in faith. But He goes above and beyond even the greatest sacrifice ever made. He takes care of even the small stuff, building our faith bit by bit through each intimate and often very practical blessing. Even the faith we have is His gift to us so that we can respond in faith to His faithfulness. There is no detail that He hasn’t already made provision for through the grace of the new covenant and the death and resurrection of His Son.
We must know our faithful God.
Our verse today reminds us that we must know that God is faithful. The ‘know’ here is the same word used in relation to marriage – Adam knew his wife. It implies absolute intimacy, a hold-nothing-back kind of relationship of deep, intimate knowledge. Faithful God isn’t simply a warm and fuzzy encouragement. It’s an absolute that we should know that we know that we know. This is because His faithfulness infuses every single one of His characteristics. His love is faithful, His mercy is faithful, His grace is faithful…along with protection, provision, care, healing. If we made a list of all His attributes, faithful is a part of all of them. It’s the Rock in our faith – eternal, steadfast, immovable, and unchangeable. That faithfulness indwells us. It’s part of the intimate, tiny details of our lives. Faithful God is a practical, powerful, and permanent truth.
Father God, we thank You for Your great faithfulness and ask for Your forgiveness for those times we’ve overlooked it or missed it in the rush of life. Help us to fix our eyes on You, to rest in Your presence and the assurance that You are in us and won’t ever leave or forsake us. Thank You for the times, little and large, where You have moved and revealed Your faithfulness. Open our eyes to see, and turn our hearts to praise and thanksgiving.