A Faith Of Our Own
In our culture it is not unusual for us to have someone cut our hair, do our nails, care for our yard, fix our food, repair our car, walk our dog, tailor our clothes, watch our children and on, and on. I am not being critical, just making an observation. If I prefer not to do a particular task for any reason, I may well find someone else to do it for a price. To one degree or another we are all affected by our culture (this is only natural). But, I wonder, do you think we can get so used to that sort of thing that it can get us off track spiritually? I go to the restaurant for supper…to the laundry for my cleaning…to the salon for my hair…to the theater for my entertainment… to school for my education…to the doctor for my health…and to church for my religion. Uh, oh! (You are thinking… “He finally got to his point!” Right? Right!) It should go without saying (does any preacher really believe that?) that there are some responsibilities that fall uniquely to us as individuals, and, especially, as Christians. The truth is that no one can do what God put you here to do! (You may deny this truth. You may say, “Oh yes, they can! And they can do it better!” But you are wrong! Maybe they can be a better spouse or parent or worker than you, but they cannot do what God put you here to do! Only you can offer to God what you can offer to God! And it is you He wants it from!)
When young David was about to go battle Goliath, do you remember what King Saul offered him? He tried to adorn David in his own battle armor. But David was unable to use those items because, as he said, “I have not proved them.” David went instead with his own tried and true weapon—the sling. We cannot face the challenges of life successfully with another’s faith. We must have our own faith!
As a result of her encounter with Jesus at Jacob’s well (John 4), the woman, realizing now that Jesus actually was the Messiah hurriedly left her waterpot at the well and went back to the city to tell her neighbors about Jesus. She was so convincing that many of those folks went to the well to meet Jesus. They did this because they believed the woman’s report. But after hearing Jesus themselves (and receiving for themselves the “living water”), they said this to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world” (John 4:42). Now, you see, they had a faith of their own. They had made their own journey to meet Jesus and had listened to His words of truth and grace for two days. And those Samaritans from Sychar, hated by most Jews, were loved by the Jew from Nazareth and became believers!
Listen, please, if you had believing parents, thank God! But you cannot be accepted as a child of Father God based on your parents’ faith. You must have a faith of your own. It doesn’t come by paying someone else to try to give it to you. You must come to the Well of Living Water (Jesus) tie the rope to the bucket, throw it in and draw it up to yourself and drink if your thirst is to be quenched. There are no convenient shortcuts to a real relationship with…a real faith in…God. Only a faith of your own can see you through life’s tough times (and they can be very tough). Only by your own faith can you please God. Only your own faith will carry you through to what God has next for you!