A Personal Relationship
“You are all sons of light and sons of the day.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5a
Years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to be a mentor for a woman who was seeking the Lord. Over our three years of weekly bible studies together we saw much growth in each of us as she asked questions and I sought the Lord for many of the answers I myself had never considered looking for or knew. As the lessons unfolded, so did our hearts towards God and towards one another. And, what began as a weekly time for me to “teach her how to read the bible” as she had requested from me, became the doorway into which she has walked into a vibrant and wonderful walk with the Lord.
Each week as we kept our Wednesday afternoon appointment with one another we studied many things, from the gospel of John to a biblically based study on prayer. But, as this new dear friend of mine grew in her faith I found myself making a transition in our relationship – I was no longer her spiritual mother but rather her sister. In the beginning of our relationship she had yet to accept and yield to the Lord and all He personally wanted to teach her, and so I became the conduit from which she learned truth. As she asked questions, I would plead to the Lord on her behalf that the answers I gave her and the situations she experienced during the week would all lead her closer to Jesus and accepting Him in her life. But, when she accepted the Lord and He began to speak in her heart, I then took on the role of a guide in helping her discern her new relationship with the Lord. But as I learned, working in that interim role is good for only so long. If that relationship continues as such for too long though it becomes a spiritual crutch to the new believer and her need to develop a one-on-one personal relationship with the Lord.
The reason I was thinking about the situation I described above is because I came across the story of Elijah and Elisha, of which I have put selections from their story below. Elijah as a great mentor to Elisha and Elisha was a wonderful student of his teacher. But there came a time when Elisha needed to work out his faith on his own without the help of his teacher – it was not an easy separation to establish has you will come to find out as you read below.
“Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they went down to Bethel...Then Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they came to Jericho....Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So the two of them went on....Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more.” 2 Kings 2: 2-4,6,11-12
As I saw the dependency I was creating in this prolonged mentoring relationship I started to pray that God transition my sister in Christ into a body of believers that could helper her grow in her faith in different ways than I had already done and that these believers be examples to her of the varying ways God shines His light through each unique believer (up to that point she had only me as an example). What God orchestrated in the end was a wonderful transition and a huge growing step for both of us as we trusting in the Lord and how He would meet our needs apart from one another.
Becoming reliant on something or someone to be a conduit for our spiritual growth is always a temptation for a believer. Whether it be your pastor, a friend, a favorite author or blogger, or any other source of spiritual inspiration. In utilizing all of these spiritual helps you need to be very careful these people or messages do not become replacements for your own personal relationship with Jesus.
Jesus alone is the source of light and it is His Spirit that connects us with Him in fellowship which teaches us, correct us, and helps us to grow and minister with kingdom power that no other source can come close to. All other things we can look to are great reflections of other people's relationships with Jesus and their connections with the Spirit, but the only way you can consistently access the light you are drawn to in them is to develop your own personal and vibrant relationship with the Lord.
If you are concerned that you do not have this type of relationship with Jesus or you don't even know where to start in transitioning to a one-on-one relationship with Jesus, please make it a point to ask a Christian who you know does how to go about making that transition. If you don't know someone like that please feel free to email me at Peggy's Email and I would love to answer your questions and help you learn what a wonderful experience it is to know Jesus as your best friend AND personal savior.