Things to learn

Published 2:33 pm Thursday, July 20, 2023

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The definition of the word learn is to gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in something by study, experience, or being taught. Brian Herbert said, “The capacity to learn is a gift. To learn is a skill. The willingness to learn is a choice.” We have so much to learn as children of God, and we must choose to do so. Jesus said in Matthew 11:29, “29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Jesus says we can learn from Him. He is a wonderful teacher, and he set a wonderful example for us to follow. Once we begin a relationship with Christ, His Holy Spirit comes to live within us. John 14:26 proclaims, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” The Holy Ghost is our teacher, and will guide us if we will only listen and learn. I want to share three important things that we must first learn from the Spirit of God.
First, we must learn to seek after and love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. You may think that this comes naturally but it doesn’t. Amos 5:4 states, “4For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live.” We must seek after the things of the Lord. It is far easier to seek after the sinful things of this world because they appeal to our flesh. 1 John 2:15-17 proclaims, “15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” What is the object of our affections? Power? Recognition? Hobbies? The world is seeking to seduce us into a love affair, but we must love God and be preoccupied with pleasing Him alone. We must learn to nail down our flesh and follow after the Spirit of God!
Secondly, we must learn to fear or respect the Lord. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Respecting our Creator also does not come naturally to us. It’s important that we understand what this command means for Christ’s followers today. Only as we truly fear the Lord will we be freed from all destructive and satanic fears. By fearing God, we can avoid being trapped by the natural pull toward going our own way, defying God, and giving in to worldly lusts and temptations. Fearing God means to be in reverent awe of His holiness, and willing to give Him complete devotion and honor. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Once again, we must rely upon the Holy Spirit to teach us how to accomplish this great task.
Finally, we must learn to trust the Lord. Proverbs 3:5-7 say, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” We rely upon our own understanding of things which is dangerous. We must learn to distrust our own instincts and opinions, and trust in the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Think of a friend you trust. This is someone that you would let watch your children or share a deep personal secret with. Why do you trust them? How did you learn to trust them? I would imagine it’s because of a few key factors. You know them personally. You know they are dependable. You know they are for you. So, how do we learn to trust God? The exact same way. We cannot trust someone we don’t know, and that is the secret of learning to trust God. When someone says, “Trust me,” we have one of two reactions. Either we can say, “Yes, I’ll trust you,” or we can say, “Why should I?” In God’s case, trusting Him naturally follows when we understand why we should. The main reason we should trust God is that He is worthy of our trust. Unlike men, He never lies and never fails to fulfill His promises. Psalms 118:8 says, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
The three things I mentioned in this column are just a few of the items we must learn of the Lord. There’s so much to acquire and God is willing to teach us all. Will you be a good student? Will you listen and heed the voice of the Holy Spirit of God, or will you choose to blaze your own path? The choice to learn is ours.
(Brandon Young is pastor of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church in Hampton)

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