Rowland Hill, the great evangelist and preacher, visited once a home and saw a
child riding a rocking horse. After watching the little boy for some time, he said
with his natural wit, "He reminds me of certain Christians.
There is plenty of
motion, but no progress."

Such "rocking horse" Christians are in evidence everywhere in the professing
church. They are running here and there; they are taken up with much service;
social service, charitable service; and service for different kinds of
improve-ments. There is almost a perpetual motion in "Churchism" today. But
where is the real spiritual progress?

Like the child on the rocking horse, there is no progress; and sometimes with all
the motion, getting nowhere, the rocking horse instead of remaining stationary,
slips back.
Real spiritual progress is not achieved by continual motion in
Christian service. It is conditioned on two things:

The first is prayerful, daily study of the Bible.
This takes time. We do not
mean the mere reading of a chapter each day,
but the meditation of what God
has spoken.
Such intense meditation means listening to God. It is in this we
keep in fellowship with our Father and with our Lord. There can be no spiritual
progress without an earnest, prayerful reading of God's Word. A believer may
belong to every society in Christendom, be first in every Christian service, but if
he neglects the real study of God's Book, he is and remains a rocking horse

The second condition is prayer. In our long Christian experience we have
found that the best incentive, the
greatest encouragement to prayer is
listening to His voice, as He speaks to the heart through His Word.

Thus the two go together. Only as we spend much time on our knees speaking
to Him in worship, in thanksgiving, praise, supplication and intercession, do we
make real progress.

Far be it from discrediting Christian service. But the genuine Christian service is
the result of
spiritual progress. Are you a rocking horse Christian?

Taken From Our Hope Magazine, Year 1922
Modified for the web by Cobblestone Road Ministries

Further Reading:
The Word and Prayer
Have I Pleased God Today?
Dead with Christ, Risen with Christ by JND
The Heavy Burdern of the Purpose Driven Life
Living According to God's Word -- Not according to The World
Beware of "Left-overs"
Do You Have Time For The Lord?
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