How to Remain Faithful to the Lord
The Christian walk is a call to faithfulness. It is the desire of every born-again believer to serve God with willing hands and a glad heart, to overcome sin and live a life that glorifies God. Yet this challenge is much easier said than done! Sin is a hungry monster that lurks in the dark corners of our hearts. The Tempter waits around every corner seeking to catch us in a snare. The troubles of this world produce blows to our faith that, over time, can wear us down and make us want to quit. Every Christian who wants to be faithful knows how hard it actually is to be faithful. Yet none would argue that it is a central element of the Christian life. How does one pursue faithfulness, without being crushed under the weight of defeat?
Start With Grace
Faithfulness is less about your willpower to be faithful and more about the overflow of a heart made glad in God. If you try to be faithful with white-knuckled, furrowed-brow ambition, you may last for a while, but eventually your resolve will run out. It’s not that you shouldn’t bother putting forth any effort, because faithfulness doesn’t happen by accident. You will need to try, but if that is where your efforts are primarily concentrated, they will fail.
Instead, focus on the gospel and let it shape your mind and heart. The good news of Jesus – that he died in your place and offers forgiveness and eternal life – creates people who are full of joy, peace, love, and satisfaction. The gospel produces Christians who want to worship God. It forges believers who have something to sing about. And, it serves like an engine to the faithfulness of a Christ-follower, giving them a sufficient boost to get things moving down the track. Christians need to constantly remind themselves about God’s love for them as demonstrated in the life of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1), and as they meditate on that, it adds fuel to the fire of devotion. God loves you! He died to forgive you! He wants to spend eternity with you! Let that sink in!
Solidify Your Life Purpose
Christians, like everyone else, thrive when they have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. The Bible reveals God’s purpose for the life of every believer, primarily in that they have a part to play in the work that God is doing in the world – specifically, to build his Kingdom through the Church spreading the gospel of Jesus. Every Christian has a role in God’s work to redeem the world, but unless they find their role in that unfolding saga, the Christian life will be reduced to merely sin-avoidance.
Consider what Barnabas said to encourage the believers in Antioch:
Acts 11:23-24 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose,  for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
In the mind of Barnabas, one major key to remaining faithful to God was to have “steadfast purpose”. Understanding God’s purpose for your life gives you a positive reason to stay motived, rather than just a negative one (like not sinning). And, it is important not to take this life purpose lightly, as if it is merely some suggestion from God or a side-note to our lives. Rather, it is the central thread running through everything we say and do. It is the main goal and aim of our lives. Our purpose should be “steadfast” in that it is such a deeply-rooted, unwavering conviction that nothing could possibly derail us from pursuing it.
If someone were to ask you “What’s your main goal in life?”, would you be able to answer? Would you have to think about it for a while? If so, I would suggest that not understanding your purpose in life is a major reason why you might struggle with being faithful to God. I know that this has been true for me. In my late teen years, I understood faithfulness as primarily keeping away from doing bad things. But as I matured as a believer, grew in my understanding of Scripture, and came to see the plan that God had for my life, I began to build my life with intent and purpose. Now I find that faithfulness comes more natural (though I hardly would consider myself an expert!). Instead of focusing on being faithful, I instead concentrate my efforts on what God wants me to do with my life. When I do that, faithfulness happens automatically. It is a by-product of pursuing your life ambition (so long as your aim is to glorify God and build his Kingdom).
My prayer is that believers all over my city, country, and this world would allow the gospel to fuel their hearts and God’s purpose to lead their daily lives. As we do so, we can’t help but grow in faithfulness, and what God might do with a Church like that is fun to think about!