Stop Riding Those Spiritual Coattails!
They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42)
This statement does not only contain a proclamation of faith. It is “pregnant” [so to say] with an idea and a necessary step of all of our spiritual development as Christians. Let me explain. At first, when we are new believers we take much of what we now know of God on faith. We believe what our Bible teachers tell us and what our Preachers reveal in their sermons about the character and heart of God. That is wonderful, and it should be that way… …for new Christians.
The question we must confront and answer for ourselves is the heart of John 4:42; simply stated this way: “At what point have you stopped depending on others’ faith and started trusting in Christ for yourself?” We must, in our spiritual development, come to the point where our faith is just that — “OURS.” We must experience the goodness and faithfulness of God. We must also experience His chastisement, His rebuke that brings growth and molds our character ever more into the image of His Son. We need to open our eyes and see how He has been moving and continues to move in our lives. We must learn for ourselves that He is trustworthy, and that Romans 8:28 really IS true; no matter the circumstance. Without a concentrated, intentional effort on YOUR part, you will NOT have a faith of your own….you will, sadly, ride the coat tails of those brothers and sister who were brave enough to trudge ever onward and upward in Christ.
So today, my brothers, I call you to step off of whatever spiritual ”coattails” you are riding on, be uncomfortable, get your feet wet, and stand [on your own feet] for Christ. I promise there will be difficulties, trials, hardships and pain on this road…. But I also guarantee that the journey only gets sweeter and more fulfilling with every step you make with Christ. Follow Him. No matter where He leads. No matter the cost. The reward for doing so is absolutely immeasurable! Just ask David:
“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)