CHAPTER 1 FAITHFULNESS - The key to God's blessings.
“A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.” (Proverbs 28:20 KJV). Faithfulness is a rare virtue these days even though it's very precious. The scripture has pointed out many rewards and blessings that come with faithfulness. My deﬁnition of faithfulness is, one’s continuous determination to yield to God no matter what happens. It is also a continuous, unrelenting commitment to God. Solomon says, “A faithful man shall abound with blessings.....”(Proverbs 28:20)
The Bible does not describe who that faithful person is. It neither said a good person, a smart guy nor a learned person with many academic degrees shall abound with many blessings. Although it's good to be educated, good and smart, none of these is the key, but rather a faithful person.
Faithfulness is indeed the key to all God's blessings. As far as I know, there are two kinds of blessings, I call them common blessings and unique blessings. One does not have to be a faithful servant or child of God to receive common blessings such as rain, oxygen, sunlight, etc. The unique blessings that Solomon refers to in Proverbs 28:20…., include both spiritual and material riches, and those blessings are only available to the children of God. I see a richly blessed person to be someone who is faithful to God. This is because God has all that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1 :3). And knowing this, anyone who believes and is faithful to Him unlocks His divine blessings.
“The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22 ). Both spiritual and material blessings are provided by God. He therefore gives to those who are faithful to Him, and God's blessings do not bring any sorrow. It does not bring mixed feelings or panic that some people feel. There are people who are very rich today but are always frightened , they feel uneasy and uncertain in life. But the one who has been blessed by God as a result of faithfulness always enjoys peace, no matter what happens.
God comes ﬁrst There are so many aspects of life that require faithfulness, that is, being faithful to our nation, spouse, families, work, authority, local church, etc. But because God created us and has power over everything, and a blueprint for every life, He is the one we ﬁrst have to be faithful to.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” (John 15:4)
Until we learn to be faithful to God by abiding in Him, we cannot enjoy His blessings. There are people who claim to be blessed and yet have nothing to do with God, and that is vanity and full of trouble. They have an outward appearance of blessings and all the good things one can think of with no obligation to God. My dear, I want you to know that if you have everything you ever dreamt of; money, health, legacy or family without the presence of God in your life, you virtually have nothing at all. “For what shall it proﬁt a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his soul?” (Mark 8:36).
It is a unique blessing when God is the source and always found at the centre of everything anyone does.
How God spoke through my Uncle
When God called me into the pastoral ministry, one of my uncles, who is also a pastor, invited me to his house one day, and this is what he said “Kwabena, I hope you are aware that every king has the power and authority to enlist the support of his faithful followers, overcome resistance, collect resources, create alliances and so on.? He continued: “If a subject of the king therefore knows all this, then he needs to be faithful to him, so that the king will use the power he has to rescue him in times of trouble or need. However, refusing to obey him but rather obeying and faithfully following another person who is less powerful than the king will lead to his doom.
My nephew, I want you to know that God is all powerful”. He quoted, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt 28:18). He continued, “with this knowledge, if you will be an obedient and faithful servant to Him, He will not only rescue you in your difﬁcult times but also give you all the power and ability to work and be successful in life and bless all that your hands ﬁnd to do”. This piece of advice touched me so much that day that I decided to walk with it, and it has really built my faith in God. Please ponder over it and let it be a guide to your faith path also.
The Key to multiplication “His lord said unto him, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord . (Matthew 25:21)
I like this parable where Jesus speaks about three servants who were given talents (a form of money, such as coins) by their lord as he traveled to a far country. This lord gave the ﬁrst servant ﬁve talents, the second servant two talents and the third servant one talent. These servants had to render accounts to the lord upon his return. When the day came, the servant who received ﬁve talents said, I have made ﬁve additional talents. The servant who was given two talents said, I made two more talents. But the servant who received one talent declared that he hid it and therefore did not serve to increase in value.
Now what do you think is the key to the success of the two servants who doubled their talents? Faithfulness. What is the key to the failure of the servant whose talent did not increase? Unfaithfulness. Jesus said to the two who increased their talents, Well done, good and faithful servants. You have been faithful over a few things. I will make you a ruler of many things. Enter into the joy of the Lord.
Sometimes, God provides a platform for us to prove our faithfulness. And one of the ways is by entrusting us with things or positions that seems unimportant or small things that are likely to be esteemed lightly, and then He will be observing us. Sometimes he takes us through challenging moments to see how faithful we are, because He doesn't bless anyone who is unfaithful to him. Those who are faithful to God are responsible towards the things they do and the people they serve.
A faithful person is actually trustworthy and reliable. Some people make faithfulness an emblem or symbol of their human relationship, but the most important thing we have to learn about faithfulness is that, it is ﬁrst shown towards God. This is because all of God's creation depends on his faithfulness. The sea has its own system and patterns of behavior. Fishes have got their own language, all the different animals and their own groups live by themselves and they have their own rules, style of talking and living with one another.
The birds and animals know where to sleep, where to put their babies, where to build their nests. They all begin their annual migrations and periodic breeding cycles at certain times because nature's laws are ﬁrm. The land knows what their language is, plants send forth seed and sapling according to His faithfulness. Only human-kind has a hard time knowing whether or not to exercise faith in God. "The ox knoweth his owner and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider''. (Isaiah 1:3)
The Secrets of some great heroes
All the great men and women in the bible and in our time whom God used to accomplish great things and fulﬁll His mission were people who demonstrated faith in God. Daniel showed faithfulness ﬁrst, toward God, and then he was empowered to be faithful and outlast three powerful Babylonian kings; Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius.
"Then the presidents and princes sought to ﬁnd occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could ﬁnd none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him". (Daniel 6:4).
His faith in God helped him to stand and overcome all the challenges that he encountered. He also became prosperous and successful even in the land of captivity. Nehemiah showed faithfulness ﬁrst, toward God, and then he was able to serve King Artaxerxes faithfully in Shushan, the Palace, and also became successful in everything he did (Neh 2:18). Again, Esther and her cousin Mordecai were Jewish captives in Shushan, and because they also showed faithfulness ﬁrst towards God, they were empowered together with the Jews in Shushan to carry out excellent duties both in and out of the Palace of Shushan, they overcame attacks and conspiracies and ended up taking over the city of Shushan and all the provinces of the of King Ahasuerus.
"And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them". ( Esther 8:17).
Do you want to do something great in life that will glorify God and give you a better life? Do you have a vision or mission to accomplish? It's not wrong to dream of doing great things, but the point is that God can't use you in a great way unless you are faithful to Him
My thoughts and God's plan
When I was sent to a village to work as a young pastor, I spent two years writing letters and sending mails to any foreign address I set my eyes on; church, school, a nongovernmental organization etc. My focus was
never on the ministry, rather, I wanted to travel abroad. I had a mentality that always told me I was far behind in life and that going abroad was the only sure way to succeed in life.
Most of my friends were doing so well in their career. This mind-set affected my performance in my pastoral work as I began to see it as a punishment instead of blessing. The Lord spoke to me one day at a conference organized by our local council of churches. He said, “your blessing is not in America, Europe, Asia or Australia, but it's inside you. Until you begin to discover what I have given you and start using it to touch lives, you will continue to suffer and remain where you are”. Right there I felt His strong presence upon me throughout the conference.
When I went back home, I prayed asking God to lead and direct me on how to use what is in me. Not many days after that, I had a thought to organize a video evangelism in one of the
communities in that village with my set of television and a video deck . The idea sounded good, so I quickly discussed it with my church leaders, and they agreed. We set some days aside for prayers towards the program and went round from house to house in the community publicizing it.
On the fateful day, with just a squall TV and a video deck, we were able to pull over ﬁve hundred people to the grounds. We showed "Passion of Christ". I made an altar call and many souls were won for Christ and testimonies were shared. We then decided to continue the following day, and the number of attendance doubled. A thought again came to me. "Why don't you gather the unemployed among them and let your wife give them skill training in soap and pomade manufacturing?'' Again I said, yes! that sounds good. By this time, the Holy Spirit kept giving us more ideas.
Anytime anyone starts using what they have, whether gifts, talents or abilities in solving problems, doors begin to open. That was the beginning of a turnaround both in my ministry and my personal life. We held the program for three days, won about ﬁfty souls, gathered the people and gave them training. We also took pictures of the whole program and posted them on facebook. These activities continued for about six months, from one community to the other, and the Lord kept adding to the church.
The Church’s ﬁnance began to go up as members started doing petty trading in soap and pomade, and for the ﬁrst time in three and a half years, my local branch was able to pay for my house rent and managed to pay some allowances as well. That was a miracle, my dear. What climaxed my joy was when I got an email from a pastor friend in Seoul, South Korea introducing me to a group of pastors in Singapore who were also into evangelism and micro enterprise development.
My friend had seen the pictures on Facebook and thought I was the best person to seize an opportunity that had rather come his way. You see how God works? Just an idea that dropped in my spirit at a conference lifted me right from that village to the Kotoka International Airport and straight to Singapore. May you discover and put to use what God has deposited in you! My dream of traveling abroad came to pass as I began to do just what God wanted me to do in obedience with unﬂinching commitment.
Step into it
Commit to being faithful to God each day of your life. Set aside time for prayer and bible reading. Be a witness to the people around you, keep your heart clean of any sin, love others as God loves them and don't allow the social media to replace the quality times you have to spend with God. And as you do that, God will bless you wherever you ﬁnd yourself and give you much more to accomplish for