Acts 8:31 (NLT) The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.
“Teachability” is a very valuable virtue. It requires humility but it’s also a path to greatness. It takes humility to admit lack of understanding, to admit need of help, to admit someone knows more than you do. Learning requires sincerity and resolve. It necessitates effort. The person in this story had a hard time understanding what he was reading, but he was reading nonetheless.
Having a know-it-all attitude is disadvantageous. Wise people understand: wisdom is a life-long pursuit; the truth is: it is an eternity-long pursuit. Our learning doesn’t stop when we meet the Lord face to face.
There is no greater source of wisdom than God’s Word. True: there are some parts hard to understand; it will take a sincere desire to learn for us to grasp truths God intends for us. We find it a big help listening to others who have also spent time and effort in studying His Word. We don’t deny personal responsibility; we have to read the word by ourselves; we have to study it; meditate on it; memorize it; live it out; share it. But we can certainly also learn from others. It doesn’t diminish our self-esteem when we do. We expand our horizon much greater by mining the gold from other people’s perspective. We recognize that we miss some important insights other people catch. We even learn from people of the world; they too have wisdom to share; they too are created in God’s image; they have undeniably good contributions. In some cases, we need discernment from the Holy Spirit to know whether what they teach is godly or worldly. It’s no problem because God is more generous with His Spirit guiding us, helping us, warning us, and leading us to the truth.
Dear heavenly Father—all loving and all wise, thank You for giving us understanding and insight—especially when it comes to vital spiritual truths. Thank You for giving us your Holy Spirit without Whom we would be spiritually blind. Thank You for making us a part of people who have the same access to Your Spirit—the Spirit of wisdom. Thank You for giving us opportunities to learn, to know more about You, Your Word, Your love, and a lot more wonderful truths we absolutely treasure. And thank You for the privilege and honor of bearing and sharing this treasure.
Luke 10:21 (KJV) 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
There’s a huge blessing in being childlike than esteeming ourselves as wise and prudent.
Humility—child-likeness—it is God’s revealed preferred way to greatness; being Christlike also opens up windows of wonderful revelations, understanding, supernatural experiences, and insights that are hidden from the proud.
We trust the Lord; we trust Him in everything, and that includes divine paradoxical principles. His ways are always proven true and right. So, instead of tirelessly competing in this dog-eat-dog world, jockeying for ever higher position and increasingly greater knowledge, we chose the path laid out for us by our Lord. We live humbly, continually growing in child-likeness. He takes care of exalting us and filling our lives with wonders.
2 Samuel 14:17 (KJV) 17Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the Lord thy God will be with thee.
Discernment is angelic. It’s God bestowing us knowledge and wisdom so we can determine what’s good and what’s evil, when they’re not as clear as black and white. We don’t have to make mistakes in making decisions especially the critical ones. Often, when it comes to major decisions in life, we don’t always have clear-cut instructions from the Word. Even then, we end up with the right choices.
How do we believers seem to know things—truths that aren’t plainly laid out before our eyes to see? For one, we sheep know our Shepherd’s voice. The more intimate we are with our Shepherd, the more sensitive we are to hearing and recognizing His voice. He gave us a very good foundation: His Word. There, we get to know Him, His acts, His ways. The more we know Him in the obvious, it becomes easier to sense Him in the ambiguous.
We love His Word. We’re passionate about learning it. It’s never a waste of our time doing so. One Word from God in a critical juncture of our existence can radically change the course of our future. Not one Word of His will fall to the ground without accomplishing purposes. We draw near to Him; He draws near to us. The nearer we are to Him, the louder we hear His heartbeat, the clearer we see His leading. We understand He wants us to make the right decisions more than we do. And He makes His presence closer to us than He can ever do: He is with us—always; He’s in us—always.
Matthew 13:12 (KJV) 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Those of us who willingly and eagerly listen to the Lord’s teachings or His Word are given understanding, insights, and wisdom, and we keep on growing in them because the Lord continuously and generously pours them out to us. Those who don’t want to listen to the Lord, more so, obey Him, whatever little understanding they have left of true spiritual matters will be taken away.
The generosity of God can’t be questioned. His desire to bring us to the knowledge of the truth is immensely great. That’s why He sent us His Holy Spirit to teach us all the truths we need to know. But despite the perfection of God’s will and ways to draw us to clear comprehension of the Truth, there is sadly a significant number of people who just don’t want to do whatever needs to be done.
We don’t fully know all the reasons or motivations behind people’s refusal of Truth. Perhaps, they can’t handle it; perhaps it’s very difficult to admit the errors of their beliefs—that they’ve been either taught erroneously, or they’ve been deceived; perhaps it’s because they want to continue in their ways that are contrary to the teachings or our Lord. They don’t know what they’re missing. But we know how important God’s Word is. It’s of tremendous importance that we perceive it clearly. And praise God, He Himself makes sure that it happens to those who truly pursue His Word.
Mark 8:21 (KJV) 21And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
So many—the Lord has done so many things and has revealed Himself in so many ways that we understand Him when we open our eyes to everything that’s going on. Miracles abound. His Words and His works testify to Who He is and what He wants. There are so many things that take away people’s attention away from Him. That’s why we’re careful; we take life seriously—with joy and wisdom, as we live out our faith in Him.
There are things we have to do and things we have to avoid. Our precious Lord Jesus is very clear about His teachings and commands. He asks us to go to all the world, preach the Gospel, and make disciples. To be clear, we make disciples of our precious Lord Jesus. We genuinely live out what we preach and teach; we live out in such a way that our lights shine brightly as representatives of our Lord and Savior.
We provide good examples for others to see and follow so they ultimately walk in the footsteps of our Jesus. I sadly admit, even among theists, there are teachers and people who are more committed and loyal to their religious affiliations, and denominational teachings and traditions than to the Lord Himself. God’s Word may be very clear on a subject matter; the truth may be right before their eyes, but they don’t see it. They keep looking for “more proofs” when they’re inundated and surrounded by myriad teachings and truths. They’re not persuaded not because of lack of proofs; it’s because they’re looking for what they want to see.
We have earthly duties and responsibilities. We have the truth to pursue and errors to be watchful for. In all these, our eyes are set on our Lord. Everything about our lives is in Him, and revolves in Him. People may doubt, question, misunderstand, and disbelieve our Lord; but we understand.