Faith always follows. Always.

"I believe in God," the man said to me. "I just do things my way. I mean, after all, I'm going to heaven when I die because I got baptized and prayed a prayer. I don't need to do all that religious stuff to prove anything to anybody. Besides, only God can judge me. I'm not that bad of a person."

I've had similar conversations like this with many people over the years and I'm sure you've either heard or even said these kinds of things too. Is that all we need to do, simply believe and then live as we want to? This begs the question: What should happen after you repent of your sin and place your faith in Christ?

For many, the feeling that comes when they surrender their lives to Christ is an emotional rush. The weight of the world is lifted off of their shoulders and they are giddy like a little schoolgirl. Freedom, forgiveness, and redemption are incredibly fantastic! But once the "honeymoon" is over, what now? Let me answer that by sharing with you a brief story from Mark 10:46-52.

Jesus was leaving a town called Jericho when He heard a voice crying out to Him. There, sitting off to the side, was blind man by the name of Bartimaeus. He kept calling out, "Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me!" and by doing so was annoying the stew out of those who were traveling with Jesus. The more they told the man to be quiet, the more he hollered out.

But Jesus wasn't bothered by the man's screams. Instead, He asked those with Him to tell Bartimaeus that He wanted to speak with him. As soon as Bartimaeus heard this, he jumped up, threw off his coat, and found his way to Jesus. Jesus asked the blind man, "What do you want Me to do for you?", which in itself is kind of an odd question because it was probably obvious to everyone there what the man wanted.

Bartimaeus pleaded in response, "I want to see!" It was his faith that brought him to the feet of Jesus and now it was his faith that was crying out for healing. Therefore Jesus responded to him, "Your faith has healed you," and at that moment Bartimaeus could see. The darkness had been lifted from his eyes and vision was now his.

But what happens next is what instructs us the most. After his sight was restored and Jesus bid him to go on his way, Bartimaeus "began to follow Him on the road." Once faith turned the heart of Bartimaeus, the next step that he took was to follow after Jesus, not to stay in one place. Faith always follows.

What happens with many believers today is that, once they respond to Jesus by faith, they choose to stay where they are. The neglect to follow. Yet this is completely contrary to Jesus' instructions to us in Scripture. Consider the Great Commission of Jesus that we are so fond of quoting. It begins with "Go!" and we so often see that as our command to get up and start moving in a certain direction. But if you were to translate the Greek in that passage more literally you would find that it actually reads, "As you are going." The idea is that we are not merely believers in Christ; the expectation is that we are to be followers.

When Jesus transforms our hearts, such a radical life event takes place that we simply cannot remain the same. We are changed, redeemed, renewed. Thus, it makes no sense for any of us to stay where we are and expect that our sedentary position is good enough. Faith always follows. Always.

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