By David Stahl

Of all of the names in the Scriptures Jesus (such as Lamb of God, Son of Man, Son of God, the Messiah, the Good Shepherd, etc.) has I guess my favorite is Jesus as “The Faithful Witness.” John in Revelation shares, “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” (Revelation 1:4-5) As we are to be like the Master in all things, He was faithful to His calling and He expects us to be faithful in ours. This is why the rewards that He has for us relates to our being faithful to our calling not for all of the good works and all of the spiritual things we do for Him. Today sadly the Body of Christ often focuses on the good works (clothing and feeding the poor, etc.) and all of the spiritual experiences in God (and yes these are important), but these miss the mark in what is truly important to God which is being faithful in the little things, those things we think God is not concerned with. In Matthew Jesus told us, “His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25:23) The “joy” of the LORD” depends not on our ability in God, but on our ability to be faithful to God and man. It is not what we do that determines the reward we receive, but rather it is our faithfulness in what we do (well done, not much done), that determines our future position and reward. Many of us have experienced the let down of an unfulfilled promise, and have felt the hurt and the disappointment that goes along with it. We were created in the image of God and feel, in a limited measure, as He feels. Just as we can feel disappointment so also our LORD can be disappointed when we are not faithful to the outworking of all that He has made available to us. We as Christians should be the most faithful people on earth. Our words that we speak should be true and honest with no pretence. How many times have we said, “I coming to night” or “you can count on me brother” (all meaning well), but not following through on our words. Not doing what we say is still a lie in God’s eyes. God is listening and watching to see if our words are yea (yes) or nay (no). You know you are much further along in God saying nay and meaning it than you are saying yea and maybe meaning it depending on the situation. We see this truth also in the Revelation when the faithful Angel was talking to the Laodiceans, “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;

These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” (Revelation 3:14-17) Because of their lack of faithfulness they did not know they were deceived in their daily living. This speaks volumes of the world in which we find ourselves in (even Christian) today. See God is listening to our words and watching our actions to see not if they are good or bad, but to see if they are righteous and faithful to His expectations for us. It would have been much better for the Laodiceans if they were just cold, but because they were “lukewarm” (not honest or a liar) God’s judgment was to spue them out of His mouth. God is really concerned about our faithfulness and even goes beyond our daily living. Our eternal abode is at stake. We really see this faithfulness principle in the parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins all ten received lamps (were saved and going to heaven) and went forth to meet the Bridegroom, but the foolish did not take a supply of oil with them. “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. (Mathew 25:1-8) I find it amazing “all slumbered and slept” even the wise virgins, but when the LORD delayed His coming their lamps went out, even the wise virgins (same lamps, amount, and time will empty at the same rate) because it says they (the wise virgins) “trimmed their lamps” or filled their lamps and adjusted the wick. The LORD is faithful to us as He gives us a daily readymade supply of oil for our lamps, but the foolish did not develop or carry a means to resupply their oil. Again the “lamp” represents our salvation. All ten were saved. The oil speaks of the LORD’s enabling grace and anointing which quickens and maintains our spiritual life and strength. When we are not faithful to maintain a personal relationship with the LORD we use up the supply of oil that we had allowed God to fill our life with and soon if not careful our light too will go out. And all along the decreasing flame we wonder why. To be faithful on our part means that we take seriously our need to spend time in the presence of the LORD to receive from Him. The oil is available, He who is ever faithful is waiting to

pour spiritual life and substance into us. The foolish took their spirituality for granted and did nothing to make room to receive more oil. The result was that their lamps went out (as the wise virgins did) and they could not enter into a deeper level of communion with Jesus. In Psalm we read of David desiring to fill his lamp with oil, “As the hart pants after the water brooks, so my soul pants after You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1-2) Here David is crying out for an enlargement of his spiritual capacity. He had his faults, but he maintained a hunger for God that was so intense that the LORD moved him from tending sheep (the most esteemed profession in Israel) to the throne room. But we may ask, “How can I become so spiritually hungry that I will be found among the five wise rather than with the foolish, in that day?” There is no simple answer, but the first step is in our will. We must make the decision to make room for God and spending time in His presence. The LORD often comes in the night to knock on the door of our heart. Although our bed may feel warm and comfortable we must make a firm decision that we will get up and spend time in His presence. The second step is to guard what we allow to enter into our being. Carnal relationships, television, social media, etc. will rob us of our spiritual perception and hunger. Our life patterns must be broken and a schedule set so as to make room for God and His things. We must determine to remove those things that could become a substitute or distraction for our spending time in the Word of God and in prayer. We will never become the overcomer who finds himself among the five wise unless we develop a disciplined pattern of life. The foolish said, “give us of your oil.” But the wise responded, “Go and buy for yourselves.” No one can give to another their commitment to spiritual obedience. But they can share the testimony of what they have received, which will make others so hungry that they also will begin to seek for themselves. The third step is to spend quality time in the presence of the LORD. There is no substitute for the time we spend with the LORD. When we do our part the LORD will do that which we cannot do. He will create within us the hunger to propel us into great depths in Him and develop in us a hunger for faithfulness something we MUST have moving in us if we are planning to see Him some day. Make no mistake my friend our walk with the LORD will only be as good as our word to God and man.