This is one of the best questions ever. It’s more likely to jump into my head when something bad happens, especially if it’s not my fault. Like when I’m about to be late and take a side road to avoid a traffic jam. There’s construction and I sit in front of a flagman for 20 minutes. He spits tobacco juice on the hood of my car while I wait. And wait. “What are you teaching me Lord?”
If a Christ-follower who’s grounded in the Bible has the presence of mind to ask that question, God will usually let him know what He’s to learn. With traffic, God was teaching me to be patient and trust Him. I got through the construction with just enough margin to make my appointment.
In “Christian-world” today, there’s two kinds of people. One has a little bit of Bible knowledge. They think they know enough, so they’ve stopped trying to understand more. It’s just too hard and confusing. And 90% of it seems irrelevant to their 21st century lives.
The other reads and studies the Bible constantly. It’s as much a part of their life as language or numbers. God’s Truth is engrained in their values, thinking, and decisions.
That’s why God gave us this amazing, magical, Spiritually-alive book… so we’d have context for what happens around us. The Bible explains who God is, why we’re here, where we’re going and what the future’s going to be like. Its world view creates a framework for our thinking, acting and responding. It gives us a language. Describes an economy. Defines a sociological system of relationships.
Imagine you’re 16 and you’re thinking about getting your learners permit. You’ve got a driver’s handbook telling about traffic laws, highway signs and the way people are to cooperate on the roads. You decide not to read the book…you’ll just wing it. You kinda’ know most of the stuff, right? It’s common sense.
So you take to the streets. (Forget about the test…that’s not the point of my analogy). You’re dangerous, guessing what you’re supposed to do. In clear-cut situations, you’re fine. But when it gets confused, there’s pressure and decisions to make, you’re overwhelmed. You mess up your car and someone else’s. You think “What are you teaching me here?” And maybe you learn something from your screw-up. You go back out again…you make another mistake. You ask “What are you teaching me here?” and do it again. And again. And again. Because you don’t have a fundamental understanding of the world of driving, you’re on a treadmill of pain and consequence. You learn a little something each time, but hope fades after a while.
That’s a pretty dumb way to learn to drive. Far better to learn the stuff in the driver’s handbook. You’re way ahead by learning how to navigate the roads from the authorities who own and run them. With the “basics” in hand, and after you get some experience, you get to the point you can figure some stuff out on your own. You may not remember the exact stopping distance of a car on wet pavement at 55 miles per hour. But you’ll just know to slow down when it’s raining. And you’ll intuitively know about how much without even thinking about it.
Reading and learning the Bible is the only way to get to that same place in life….where you kind of know what God would have you do without even asking. Only with an understanding of His Word will you be able to ask “God, what are you teaching me here?” and get an answer that makes sense.
I wish the Bible was something we could eat. Something we could add to a salad, or sprinkle on a dish of ice cream. Or a pill to take. Maybe even a shot, like a flu shot.
But God’s way isn’t usually the easy way. And His way of getting us up to speed ‘walking in the Spirit’ is more like diet and exercise. It can’t be faked, substituted for or imagined in our minds. No short cuts. It takes work. It takes Bible reading and study, memorization, listening to good Bible teachers, and reading ‘books about the Book’ written by smart people who’ve spent years walking with God and learning Him.
Read your Bible and start asking “What are you teaching me Lord?”
Question: Will you? Let us know…. here.