Psalm 119 is one of the most poetic and beautifully written portions of scripture. Although offering no signature of authorship, many commentators are in agreement it was written by King David. He being in the highest renowned position, the military leader speaks in reverent regard to God’s word. In these 176 verses, there is a repeated theme, Teach me. “Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes.” (v12) “I recounted my ways and You answered me; teach me Your decrees.” (v26) “Teach me, O LORD to follow Your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.” (v33) Just to name a few. If David inquired of the Lord to rule a nation, how can we not do the same to manage our everyday? Teach me.
Having learned of God and His word has very little to do with IQ, (I’m a prime example) it has to do with teachableness. Those who cry out for help, who seek, and those who ask. It takes posturing, positioning, attention, and preparedness. Before I crack open my Bible, I always whisper, “Show me, teach me.” He never fails.
In a class room setting those who tend to be most eager for learning plant themselves in the front row, they position themselves to receive; they don’t want to miss ANYTHING. Do we position ourselves? Or are we back row folks, fully entertained by the distraction in front of us. (Which seriously CAN be entertaining, but that’s beside the point) Solomon wrote, “A wise man will hear and will increase learning…” (Pro. 1:5) And “Give instruction to a wise man and we will be still wiser…” (Pro. 9:9) Positioned to learn.
A wise professor stated the definition of learning as ‘Acquiring through training, new information or skill.’ (Lanny Hubbard) Learning new info and new skills causes us to think differently, we can do things differently. We are now different people. Learning means change. When I come to God and ask “Teach me,” I am saying I want to change. I want to be a different person when You are done with me. Speak Holy Spirit! Teach me.
One of the most important elements of learning is listening. James says, “Be quick to hear and slow to speak…” (1:19) Do we contemplate what is being said, before we take off running with our mouth? Is there something I need to learn here? Solomon, the wisest guy behind pen and ink wrote: “When you go into the house of the Lord, go in to listen…” (Ecc. 5:1) We go to church and ‘get our worship on’ which is great, BUT do we listen? Are we so busy singing away at how we feel, that we fall short to listen? What might God want to say in that environment? We are positioned, attentive… listen.
Most of our learning (if we are paying attention) comes in everyday life experiences. Jesus was a great example of this. Matthew 19, the story of the rich young ruler – Jesus tells him to go and sell all his possessions and give it to the poor. As the young man walks away sad, Jesus IMMEDIATELY turns to the disciples. Did you see that? How hard it is for the rich to get into the kingdom of God. He uses the moment, to teach them about the kingdom. Learning moments. Mark 12, Jesus and the 12 are in the temple, watching the rich folks throwing their coins in the offering, up steps a poor widow gal; she drops her two coins in. Jesus tells the disciples, she just gave more than anyone in here. He used the situation to teach them. Notice He taught immediately. He didn’t wait; He didn’t want the moment to pass to lessen the impact. Help me Lord to see Your teaching moments.
Blind Bartimaeus got it right. (Mark 10) As Jesus and the guys, and the crowd come through town, he hears them and began to yell, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” He was told to be quiet – he yelled all the more. (Go Dude!) Jesus took notice and asked him “What do you want Me to do for you?” He boldly said, “I want to see!” Do WE ask, do we cry out to God. Be bold!
As we go through this journey with Jesus, may we have a learning mind-set, and an open heart. A willingness to hear, heed and discover as He points and speaks. May we position ourselves from distractions, keeping our focus on God and His word despite the loud world around us. Let’s keep our learning grid large, not so small as to limit our expansion of knowing, knowing Him. One of the most important keys to our learning is NOT to learn only for ourselves. (Read that again) Learn today what a family member may need next week or a friend a year from now. Be taught of God today, allowing Him to change us, that we become agents of change for others. Today’s lesson may change someone else forever.
“Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me.” Grant me the opportunity and the discipline to see, hear, learn and change.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
* Thoughts and excerpts above is what I learned in a chapel sermon by Lanny Hubbard.