His Person: Consistency
The dictionary defines consistency as “steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form etc”. Whereas Einstein suggests that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again with no positive change or improvement in results, we here suggest that the ability to remain consistent or steadfast in application of kingdom principles or our walk with God produces certain clear benefits.
In our text, Revelation 3:14-16, the Lord says to the writer that He prefers His church to be either hot or cold or the consequence would be that He will spit the church out. The import of the statement is that God demanded consistency from His chosen people. The church referred to in the text was the Laodicean church. Its physical location placed it between 2 cities; Hieropolis- noted for its hot natural springs of water and Colosse famed at the time for its great supply of cold water. In the midst of these extremes was the prosperous city of Laodicea with a church that seemingly was indecisive on whether it should be hot or cold.
No one likes lukewarm beverages and we either drink our coffee hot or cold. Lukewarm then suggests, a sense of sloth, tinge of apathy with an attitude that really was non-committal and nor seriously focused on achieving particular ends.
The Laodicean church was described as the “foolish church”.
Being lukewarm and not being decisively “on fire” for the Lord is regarded then as spiritual foolishness.
Being on fire i.e. passionate and zealous, focus and fervor for the ends of the kingdom is imperative then.
In Matthew 25, Jesus sheds light with the parable of the 10 virgins. In anticipation of the coming of the bridegroom, all 10 must be ready. The bridegroom arrives without warning at the midnight hour. All 10 virgins have lamps. Each lamp is lit by a flame which also produces light. God is a “consuming fire” and the lamp (His word) produces His nature i.e. fire. However, when the bridegroom delays in coming, only the virgins with oil in their lamps can sustain the fire. Without oil, the lamp cannot be consistent in producing the fire.
The Holy Ghost is the oil. He makes the word we have come to life to make us more and more like Jesus Christ in all our endeavors.
Without oil, we will run out of the God-like nature and that inconsistency will cost us a place at the bridegroom’s banquet table.
As Christians, we can have a burning heart, a cold heart or a lukewarm one. The lukewarm one is unacceptable to God because it straddles the fence but becomes tepid and open to being taking over apathy, backsliding and failing. The second law of thermodynamics suggest that a “closed system” eventually moderates itself so that no more energy is being produced, it then decays and dies. This is the lot of a lukewarm, tepid and inconsistent Christianity.
God is consistent in His love, faithfulness, commitment to us, mercy, grace, justice and His word. He never changes his mind about us nor withdraws His blessings.
He expects us to be consistent too. Ephesians 1:1-2 calls on us to be imitators of him. James 1:22 admonishes us to be doers and not mere hearers and 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 confirms that the Holy Spirit will help us in being consistent.
In the world God created, He allows men to discover principles or laws. The unique feature of these principles or laws is that they must have consistency and be universally applicable. For example the law of gravity. Psalm 24:1-2 tells us that God founded the planet on water -a symbol of consistent inconsistency. The person that masters this inconsistency is able to defy seasons and be consistent thus earning the quality of predictive excellence which is greatly rewarded in life.
Genesis 8:22 states that insofar as the earth remains seed time and harvest, day and night will be consistent. In Luke 8:1-15, Jesus uses the parable of the sower to illustrate the way the kingdom of God works. Everything starts out as a seed with embedded potential to be fruitful. The seed is from God (supplier) and its quality is not in dispute. The seasons are fixed and cannot be altered. The times are also set. The soil is what is variable and man must master his own soil. The spoilers of the process - birds of the air, thorns, rocks etc. -are also fixed to aid the inconsistency. The man who figures out how to overcome these seemingly insurmountable odds against his harvest becomes fruitful and blessed.
Consistency produces predictability, expectations, trustworthiness, dependability, excellence, quality and greatness.
You are what you consistently do. Nobody takes an inconsistent person serious. Consistency transcends potential into product. Everyone will have a promise (prophecy). You will need preparation, process, patience, persistence, pain, perspiration to get there.
Consistency develops maturity.
One can be anointed yet inconsistent. The fruit of consistency is a Christian with character, solid reputation and recommendations, relevant to his times and assignment and ultimately invaluable to the cause of Christ.
Consistency took David from the wilderness to the palace. Joseph was consistent from pit to prison through Potiphar’s house to Prime Ministerial appointment. Abraham was consistent till he became the father of faith and of many nations.
Consistency marked the ministry of Jesus. Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the same forever in 13:8 an also to hold fast consistently because he is faithful in 10:23. Paul in Galatians 6:9 informs us that we cannot afford to grow weary because there is a due season, an appointed time for reward. All it requires is consistency. We indeed are the product of what we repeatedly do and must remember that greatness is not an act but a habit.