I wish to encourage you to be a Christ compelled learner. While learning can be a purposeful and enjoyable experience, for some it can easily become self-serving and self-exalting. Certainly, we live in a culture and time whereby learning itself is sometimes exalted with an almost divine status. However, morally and spiritually, our age is also marked by the same attitude as those Paul warned Timothy of, people who are always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7). Paul reminds Timothy that it’s possible to become spiritually entrapped by the learning process with no intention or expectation of arriving at any definitive conclusion in truth. What’s worse, we’re capable of being content with that emptiness.
God has always connected learning with application, even from the earliest times, when Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them (Deuteronomy 5:1). The Psalmist makes a crucial connection; Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation (Psalm 25:5). Having a teachable heart and mind towards God’s leading and His written Word is essential if we are to become increasingly God centred and God determined in our learning and maturing. Obviously, this begins with salvation.
The wonder of God’s grace is that He always teaches truth, absolutely concrete knowledge from the Almighty, which we find in His Word. Scripture is the accurate expression of the Lord’s character; it has no grey areas, no contradictions, and no inconsistencies. Spiritual truth, God oriented truth, is neither subjective, fluid, nor floating. Instead, it’s solidly distinguishable, identifiable, rational, linear, understandable, memorable, and applicable. Anything less would misrepresent the holiness of God’s integrity.
As with all facets of life, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31), including our learning. So, all learning in life, be it academic, employment related, social, relational, or ministry focused, should be spiritually motivated, filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit, who enables the character of Christ to filter through displaying the Lord Jesus and His gospel. Learning is wonderful, especially when done with an eternal focus and purpose.
Familiarising ourselves with the spiritual weapons of our warfare teaches us that we’re involved in destroying arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). All learning, all rationale, all inner processes are to be captivated by Christ for obedience under His Lordship. This Beloved, is our calling, learning how to demolish wrong thinking about God, starting with ourselves.
We have the assurance of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ presented by the apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1:1-3, His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence… There are no short-cuts, no free tickets to instant knowledge of all things Christ. As Paul and Apollos cautioned, …learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favour of one against another (1 Corinthians 4:6). There are no favourites in God’s family; we are all to learn from God’s Word. We also learn from the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies us through experiences that serve to transform us from one degree of glory to another, in ever increasing accuracy of Christ-likeness (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
I encourage you to pursue learning with diligence and enthusiasm. Constantly seek the Lord’s enabling strength, applying His wisdom through His truth to your reasoning processes and to you interpretive mechanisms which should lead to His conclusions within you. Seek the Holy Spirit to transition right beliefs into righteous behaviour, then disciple those applied truths into another person’s life. In all of this, water your learning with prayer as you surrender to the surpassing beauty and glory of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong