Five Blessings of Consistency
One of the attributes God desires most of His people is consistency. In fact, we find people at their weakest when they lack consistency. Peter emphatically declared he would never deny Jesus, but when faced with fear and uncertainty, he heard the rooster crow (Mark 14:31, 72). He passionately explained how the Gentiles received the word of God without circumcision, yet when faced with pressure from his Jewish peers, he withdrew from the Gentile brethren (Acts 11:1f; 15:7; Galatians 2:11f). His inconsistency brought grief and condemnation. Peter would later encourage the saints in their consistency, instructing them to “stand firm” in the “true grace of God” (1 Peter 5:12).
Here are five ways consistency can bring God’s blessings to you and family.
Consistency provides experience
The consistency of Moses enabled him to experience a cooperative effort with Jehovah to bring deliverance to the Israelites (Exodus 3-14). From the time he was called to lead God’s people from captivity, he consistently followed the Lord’s leading. Although he had reservations, he went and spoke to Pharaoh, pleading with him to let the people go. He boldly informed the king of the consequences if he did not heed the Lord’s will. Ten times Moses experienced the working of God in bringing the plagues upon Egypt, culminating in the Passover and exodus.
Moses’ experience with God provided the consistency necessary to lead his people in the wilderness. A constant focus and remembrance of what God had done and was doing emboldened him to fight for faithfulness. When a person (or people) experience the deliverance of God they are encouraged to walk in a manner worthy of His grace (Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12). This consistent walk enables us to experience the presence, providence, and blessings of God.
Consistency builds confidence
Perhaps no one in the Bible demonstrates greater consistency than Daniel. His consistency was rewarded by nourishment from the vegetables, promotion in the court of the king, and protection in the lion’s den (Daniel 1; 6). The key was a focus on the things that pleased His God rather than things that pleased his appetite. He (and his three friends) refuses to buckle under the demands of godless society.
When he was called upon to interpret the king’s dream, and the handwriting on the wall, he boldly spoke the truth. When they were instructed to bow to the great statue they stood tall. When he was forbidden to pray he went to his knees three times a day. His consistency prompted disbelieving people to bow to the God of heaven.
Consistency creates closeness
The consistency of Solomon in expressing affection to his Shulammite bride results in a beautiful marriage (Song of Solomon). One of the greatest needs of husbands and wives is consistent affirmation from their spouse. Solomon’s “song” is a beautiful picture of a husband and wife consistently exchanging compliments for each other and gratitude for the things they have. They are open in articulating their admiration for the positive qualities they see and appreciate. Marriages and families are strengthened when we are complimentary rather than critical, when we are grateful rather than greedy.
Paul speaks of this closeness in Ephesians 5:22ff when he describes the relationship between Christ and His church. He shows how love and humility bring a husband and wife as close as Christ is to His bride, the church. In consistently fulfilling our God-given roles in the home we experience the kind of relationship enjoyed by Solomon and the Shulammite.
Consistency clarifies communication
The consistency of Paul (and all the apostles) proclaims the same truth and instruction in every church, every ethnicity, and every culture (1 Corinthians 4:17; 7:17). As the apostles began spreading the gospel to “the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8), their message was in complete harmony. Inconsistency in the message of salvation causes confusion, of which God is not the author (1 Corinthians 14:33). The message taught by the apostles is the foundation upon which the household of God is built (Ephesians 2:19-20). Conflicting and competing messages could not have built the Lord’s church, nor could they unite all people in the one faith (Ephesians 4:5).
Healthy communication breeds openness, trust, and honesty in any setting. Consistency is a key in effective parenting. Children learn boundaries when parents communicate and consistently enforce healthy rules and consequences in the home. Husbands and wives are able to focus on their goals and avoid confrontation when they have a habit of talking and listening to one another. As in the church, a consistent message in the home pulls people together and builds a strong family.
Consistency cultivates faithfulness
The consistency of Abraham encouraged future generations to follow the God who was fulfilling incredible promises (Genesis 12:1-3; 15; 18; 21; 22). Abraham trusted God with every step, even when he didn’t have all the answers or understand the process. After laughing at the promise of a son he and Sarah conceived and gave birth to Isaac. When taking Isaac to the place of sacrifice he trusted God with the outcome (cf. Hebrews 11:19). As a result, Isaac was able to bless Jacob and Esau (v. 20), Jacob was able to bless the sons of Joseph (v. 21), and Joseph was able to teach his children about the exodus (v. 22). Generations came to faith because of the faithfulness of this one man. The same can happen in our families when we follow his example.
As we can see from these examples, consistency is not without questions, lapses, setbacks, and even failures. None of these people were perfect. Moses had his insecurities (Exodus 3:11; 4:10-13). Solomon had lapses in judgment (1 Kings 11:1-2). Peter caved under peer pressure (Galatians 2:11). Paul struggled with practicing right from wrong (Romans 7:14-20). Abraham laughed at God (Genesis 17:17). Despite their excuses and deficiencies, they are able to accomplish what God wanted them to do. None of them every had a reason to doubt the God who was leading them and working with them.
The reason God is worthy of our trust and devotion is that He is consistent. His word never fails. His judgment is always right. His purpose is always true. His presence is always near. This is why David is able to say with complete conviction, “My God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2). We can find these blessings–and more–when we maintain a consistent practice of faith.