I am reading through the book of John again. This is definitely my all-time favorite book in the Bible. Anyway, as I was reading the story of the woman at the well (John 4:6-42) I was struck by the story and it got me to thinking about my relationship with the Lord. Here we find Jesus at the well, and He has this whole discussion with the woman about living water and thirst. He speaks truth into her life and she is profoundly changed by the event. She is so impacted by meeting and talking with Jesus that she leaves her water jar, the reason she was at the well to begin with, and goes back to the to her town and says to the people, "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" (John 4:29)
Who knows what else this woman told the people? The Bible doesn't give all of the conversations. Some probably knew her (or her reputation) and some might have just been attracted by all the hubbub. For whatever reason, they came. Her testimony was powerful enough that many came to believe in Him. (John 4:39)
The people who came out to see Him asked Jesus to stick around. The Bible says He hung out for a couple days. Here is where it got interesting for me: "And many more believed because of his word. 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 4:41-42)
See, some believed because of her testimony but they still had to encounter Jesus personally. I think it holds true today as well. We can share our stories, our sermons, our life. Many will believe, but they can't live on our faith. They need to encounter the Savior for themselves. They must have a personal, vibrant, real relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We can raise our children in a Christian home, but one day they will move out. They will need to have their own personal relationship with God because kids won't survive living on their parents faith. Neither will our spiritual children that we lead to Christ; they must meet Jesus personally. Will we let them go to let them grow? Will we cover them in prayer as they walk through the valleys and the mountains, imparting wisdom, yet not stepping in to rescue? It's very natural to let a child begin to make their own choices as they age and to move out on their own when they are ready. Whether it is our natural children, or spiritual ones, their greatest need may not be our physical or emotional support, but our prayers for Christ to meet them where they are at. It is in His presence that they will find out that what we have told them about Him is true.