"Well done, good and faithful servant."
I've thought a lot about those words lately. I want to hear them. I want their whisper to be like all this overwhelming joy when I finally stand before Him. But I must know what pleases Him. I must know what the words mean.
Good. Faithful. Servant.
What does He want from us?
"Without faith it is impossible to please God."
The one essential ingredient. Faith.
But what is faith? And what does it mean to be full of it?
"Complete trust or confidence in someone," my dictionary says. The verse above goes on to explain more fully.
"... He that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
Do you? Do I?
Yes, I believe that He is, that He exists, that He is who He says He is. Sometimes my life says differently, but isn't that what sanctification is all about?
And I believe in His reward, that one day I will stand face-to-face with my Redeemer.
But there. We've come back around to the beginning. When I see Him face-to-face, how can I be sure of what He will say?
Faith. It goes hand-in-hand with anticipation, because we only have faith in something past because we anticipate all that is to come, and we can only anticipate all that is to come because we have the assurance of faith.
And all this striving to be what I think He wants, and to do more for Him than all I can imagine or plan, it's not the fruit of faith.
The fruit of faith is anticipation.
To be full of faith - to be faithful, is to be spilling over with anticipation and hope and looking forward to Him. To His coming. To His reward.
To when He says, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Not because we sacrificed most, or worked hardest, or fed the most orphans, or bound up the most wounds. Not because we strained to reach the unattainable, but because we strained our eyes and hearts in the hope of anticipation for what was already promised to us. Not because our humanitarian aid really made a dent in the filth of the world, but because it was borne of sure hope that what Christ began He would one day finish.
And I know this is a jumbled mess of words and emotions and what He's teaching me day by day, and if you don't understand, that's okay. I desire heaven with such a passion and His return with such a desperation that it's hard to explain. And I believe that when I finally do see Him face-to-face, I will hear the words that beat even now in my heart. Not because of what I've done, but because I believed He would come and make all things right and lived every day in anticipation of That Day.