“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
As we begin to round up this study, I would like us to briefly look at one more matter- the faithfulness of God.
Many years ago, I read a book by Pastor W. F. Kumuyi titled, THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD. In that book, I learnt a concept which I never really saw in that light until he said it. I am not quoting his exact words, but he said something in this light, “Some believers are so used to praying and crying and asking God to help them make or reach heaven at the end. I cannot remember the last time I prayed that kind of prayers. I am simply watching to see if a man will follow the Shepherd and abide his instructions and teachings, and end up in hell.”
In those days, I was already getting used to praying and crying that God should help me make heaven. I had to have a rethink. Now, why is that prayer not so sensible for a believer in Christ Jesus? It is simply because it casts a shadow on the faithfulness of God, as if He didn’t want to help you unless you ask Him. Jesus told the Disciples in Luke 12 vs. 32, ” Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” God is faithful and He is committed to ensuring that you finished your journey with joy. He did not bring you out to the wilderness to destroy you (as if He takes pleasure in men being cast away), rather, He brought you out, that He may take you in to possess the Land.
However, we must note that the faithfulness of God does not imply that whether you like it or not, God will pull you squeaking and screaming into His kingdom, whether you wanted it so or not. No. It rather means that, God, being a loving Father and Shepherd, has made available all necessary provisions and guideposts for all who wish to get to the kingdom. If we would simply take up and make good use of the Divine provisions for our success, we will never fail; rather we will have a royal welcome into His kingdom.
Some of these provisions are:
1. The Word of God: 2 Timothy 3 vs. 16 – 17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” He who intends to persevere to the end must take heed to have much activity with God’s word. Read it, study it, listen to it being preached, sing it, in fact build your life around God’s word.
2. The Weapon of Prayers: 1 Peter 4 vs. 7 says, “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” Any man who must win in this end time, must be an earnest, thoughtful and disciplined man of prayers. Keeping yourself daily before God in an attitude of prayers will keep you constantly alert and watchful in all that you do.
3. The Weapon of Fellowship: By fellowship, I am not particularly talking of attending more and more Christian meetings, though that is very important, but it is as Hebrews 3 vs. 13 says, “You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” What the means is that the purpose of Christian fellowship is that mutual encouragement and warning that keeps us away from sin. This fellowship does not need a formal setting; it simply means finding out those around whom who seem to wake up and be serious with your Christian walk, and stay close to them. Do you get? That is, learn to visit those whose lives encourage and warn you in your Christian journey, and stay close to them. Open up to them whenever you see a sin creeping up around you. This will keep you from being cast away.
4. The Weapon of Discipleship: By this, I mean the blessed art of submitting your life under the authority and instructions of an elderly believer in Christ Jesus. Hebrews 13 vs. 17 says, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” Submitting to Christian discipleship under the hands of another will help to guide you and provide perspective for your life as you journey in it.
5. The Weapon of Testimony: To testify, in the sense means to bear witness to what Christ has done in your life, what we call the preaching of the Word of God. Paul charged Timothy in his second letter to preach the Word, and to be instant in season and out of season. Testifying to others strengthens your faith after confidence in God.
This is the faithfulness of God. He has provided means for your endurance till the end. You may not not have the strength to do many big things, but He has given you strength to do these small things. Do them, and you shall have a continual supply of strength needed to endure till the end. Grace to you.
PRAYERS: Father, thank you for the provisions you have made for my redemption and my endurance to the end. Thank you for your faithfulness and commitment to me. I pray for and I receive your strength to keep in view and make good use of the provisions you have made for my journey, so I can endure till the end. Amen.
For further reading: Phillipians 1 vs. 3-6; Jude 1 vs. 20-25; Hebrews 3 vs. 13-19, Phillipians 4 vs. 9.