I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me. Psalm 119:102
Most of God’s children caught the essence of their faith from another person. Seeing faith in action was the catalyst for their own new birth. Once they trusted Christ, that person who was so influential, most likely, became the one who discipled them.
A potentially dangerous thing can happen, at that point, if the mentor does not show them how to connect with God in His Word and prayer. They will learn to depend on the mentor instead of on God. The one who mentors does a poor job if they fail to transfer their disciple’s dependence to their new Heavenly Father.
Second hand faith never works well for long. What I learn from teachers in the form of “This is what God says…” ends up making me a weak child of God. When adversity comes, I need God most. My mentors can fill in the gap but only God’s voice and presence will give me what I need to continue in faith. I will more easily turn aside from God’s ways if I’ve lived off the faith of others.
The application is two fold. 1.) Upon whom do I depend today? If they give me their support and their comfort, do I reach out to God as well? I must. Because at some point, they will fail to give me their support, and I will fail to have the strength I need to stand up tall in faith. And, 2.) Who am I training today? Who leans on me? Am I intentionally showing them how to live in the Word and to hear the Spirit’s voice or am I fostering dependence on me because of my need for significance?
When the Spirit of God is our teacher, we will walk God’s paths with joy and endurance. Only His voice gives the strength needed for the long journey.
Lord, I tried to walk faithfully simply by watching other strong Christians. I failed miserably. Only when I heard Your voice for myself did my strength come. Help me pass that on as my legacy. Amen