How many teachers have you heard say, “There is no dumb question”? Or they say, “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Someone else in class may be wondering the same thing.” It is true that you cannot learn unless you start listening to what you are being taught and then asking questions in the spots you don’t understand. Yet so many will still sit back in class and be afraid to ask because they don’t want to appear dumb. It’s not that you are dumb; it is just that you haven’t learned that subject yet. No human being born as a baby comes out knowing everything. It is a process. We miss opportunities to learn by being embarrassed, scared or stubborn. Without learning certain things we are probably missing further opportunities that would come because of our knowledge. The next step to learning is the stage of wisdom. Wisdom comes when we gain knowledge and then apply it and learn further through the experience. There is nothing sadder than to first not seek knowledge or worse yet not to use that knowledge once it is learned. We gain no wisdom and use no wisdom in our lives when we do that. Once such example is found in Luke 10: 25 – 29.
25 Just then an expert in the law stood up to test Him, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the law?” He asked him. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. 28 “You’ve answered correctly,” He told him. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
This gentleman was expert in the law of the Lord and he saw Jesus as a teacher. He saw the opportunity to confirm that he was going to have eternal life. Jesus tested his knowledge with a question. The gentleman correctly answered. He had learned well. Jesus, however, saw down in to his heart. He knew that knowledge was not being applied. The man then wanted to try to prove he was good to go by asking Jesus a question. Jesus told him the parable of the good Samaritan. At the end Jesus shared some wisdom with him. He told him to do the same as the good Samaritan. In other words, Jesus knew that the man was not applying his knowledge and that he lacked wisdom. With Jesus’ command the man was given the opportunity to gain wisdom.
It was good the man appeared to be seeking Jesus’ wisdom with his question, but more important would be that he did not pass up the opportunity to apply the wisdom. We need to do the same. We need to spend time with Jesus in the Word and prayer and then actually apply what we learn. Too many times we go to church and hear a message and return home to re-enter our same routines and never applying what we learn. Remember to take the opportunity to seek wisdom and to apply it.
We spend years going to school and spend that time learning from our teachers. We look to them as knowledgeable and experienced. We trust their opinion. We may go to a trade school to learn a special skill. We expect that our trainer will teach the tricks of the trade. We want to walk away from any learning experience prepared to be able to do a job or handle life better. It should be the same thing in our spiritual life. We should go to “school” at Sunday School, Worship Services, Bible Studies, Discipleship classes, time with fellow Christians expecting to grow and learn and become better prepared for our lives and our walk with the Lord. The disciples spent 3 years with the greatest teacher there ever was. As a matter of fact, they called him the “Master”. They were learning from Him so that they could reach and teach others about God. Jesus could use anything to teach. He taught several lessons in Luke 8: 22-25.
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. 24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
I want to focus on just one of the lessons He taught while He was in this boat with the disciples. You might say they were silent instructions. Pay attention to what our master is doing when the storm hits. He is at peace and rest. He does not let the storm bother Him. He knows He can take care of it. The disciples on the other hand are beginning to panic. They know the storm is bad and they begin to fear they are going to drown. They seem to have forgotten who they were with. After all they were following Jesus, because they thought He was the Messiah. Yet here He was asleep. If they really believed that He was who they thought He was, they should have realized that the Messiah was asleep and not even bothered by the storm. That fact was a pretty big hint that it was probably all going to be ok.
This silent instruction from our Master is a pretty good one for us to pay attention to, as well. If we believe that we are now heirs of God and children of the King, then we should be confident that God will take care of us. We need not be afraid even when the worst storms roll in to our lives. God will calm the storm when it is time. We just have to have faith to ride the waves with Jesus.
Have you ever been on “Soarin’” at Disney’s California Adventure or Disney’s Epcot Center? Great simulator attraction based on flying over the countryside. I just love that feeling of flying, even though it is just a simulation effect of visual, motion, air on the skin, etc. I love the view that brings of the beautiful scenery. I just wish it lasted more than 4 minutes and 40 seconds. It brings a sense of freedom, adventure, excitement and relaxation all at the same time. In some ways it is re-energizing to my soul. I would love to be able to run right off the end of the ride back around to the front of the line and ride it again.
I think we all need to experience those sensations and feelings in our life. Sometimes our everyday life can be draining to us physically and spiritually. Then there are those extra difficulties in life that can further drain us. We are just wiped out. We sometimes don’t feel like we have the strength to go on or to face one more minute of living with the chores and the problems. We need to be revived, encouraged and strengthened to continue what seems like the uphill climb in life. God has given us very clear and easy instructions on how to do this in Isaiah 40:31 –
“…but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”
Many times what really drains us is the fact that we are doing everything in our own strength and we are trying to accomplish it all ourselves. We see a financial problem…we try to get a loan or sell something to pay the debt. We see an adult child struggling with drug problems…we try to take over their lives and stop the abuse. In reality what God instructs us to do, is to actually trust Him to take care of the problem. We need to go to Him and ask for His answer. Sometimes that means we need to be patient and wait for Him to respond. Instead we just jump the gun and take the bull by the horns. As time goes by we become discouraged and drained. We need to trust that God will do what is best and we need to wait on Him. Don’t push to make life easier, let God do the pushing. Don’t flap your arms trying to fly through the mess. Let God be your wind and just put out your arms and soar!