by: Carole L. Haines
No relationship can blossom without a personal touch. In this day of Online Dating, Social Media, etc. people may meet initially in a semi-personal way. But for real in-depth intimacy, there must be an in-person, face to face experience with the other person. You can only grow so far in your relationship via emails, texts, social media, Skype, etc. In John 4, Jesus encounters the woman at the well, there is a lot to observe in this Scripture relating to Knowing and Worshipping God. If you can, please read the whole chapter. For now, let’s look at a small portion.
39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of His word; 42 and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:39-41)
At first, the Samaritans believed because of the woman’s testimony about Jesus. But then they encountered Jesus for themselves, and their faith became their own. As parents, or those who mentor and disciple others, it’s natural for the young in faith to begin their walks looking to us for guidance and help in their new walks with Christ. But ultimately, in both relationships, our job is to basically, work ourselves out of a job. We want our children, our mentees, those we counsel, to be independent, fully reliant on Christ.
This takes time, but it is the ultimate goal of our roles in these areas. It is an unbelievably remarkable thing to witness a child or new believer grow up in the faith, embrace Christ as Savior, Learn to walk under Him as Lord and Friend, and get to a point where we can tell, they have owned their own faith. Jesus is always drawing us toward the Father. Just listen to John 10:2-5.
2 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Learning to discern the voice of Jesus amidst all the other voices clamoring for our attention is probably the most important thing we are privileged to learn as new believers. We want to help those we come alongside to be able to say to us, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One indeed is the Savior of the World.”