Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Stay In School
When was the last time you wore a cap and gown?
Most of us have graduated from an institution of some kind – high school, college, trade school, police academy, seminary, etc.
When we graduate, we experience excitement, relief, and accomplishment. We’ve worked hard to complete a course, and now we’re equipped to take that knowledge and skill and provide real-life answers and solutions.
Graduation is highly celebrated in Western culture (nothing wrong with that), but you’ll never find a theme of graduation coursing through the pages of Scripture. In fact, everywhere you turn, the Bible reminds us to live constantly as students.
There are so many verses that come to mind: “Lead me in your truth and teach me” (Psalm 25:5) / “Teach me your way, Lord … give me an undivided heart” (Psalm 86:11) / “I want to know Christ” (Philippians 3:10) / “I keep asking that God … may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” (Ephesians 1:17)
There was a time, probably in the early years of our faith, when we couldn’t get enough. We had a voracious hunger for truth, and we lived with the humbling realization that there was so much that we didn’t know. We loved to study the Word of God, examining each phrase. We loved to listen to fellow students, further along the path of wisdom than we. We simply didn’t have plans to graduate.
But something happened along the way. Perhaps we got distracted by the physical pleasures of the created world and began to live more like tourists than students. Perhaps we got discouraged by suffering and trouble and felt our study wasn’t helping. Perhaps we got sidetracked by our own purposes and plans and had little time left to be students. Or, perhaps most dangerously: our pursuit of God was blunted by a sense of spiritual graduation.
We would never admit this, but there are times when we think we know all there is to know about God, ourselves, and this world. Brothers and sisters, that is a very dangerous place to be! So today, I would encourage you to enroll again in school and commit to being a student of the Lord. For two reasons (though there are probably more):
First: God’s wisdom is too deep and too vast. It has no boundary, no bottom, no ceiling. If for ten million years, we sat for 24 hours a day at his feet and listened, we’d only scratch the surface of the surface of the wisdom that is his. If we gave every day of our lives to study the wisdom that’s captured in the pages of Scripture, we could study until our very last day and not have mined all the treasures of wisdom that are there.
Second: We live in a world of danger. In human culture, sounds of falsehood echo more loudly and repeatedly than sounds of wisdom. Everyone is talking at once, a den of voices so loud and pervasive you can barely hear yourself think. Every day a thousand voices speak into your life, and the vast majority of those voices have not gotten the flowers of their insight from the wisdom garden of the Lord.
So, with a lively acknowledgment of the vastness of the depth of God’s wisdom, and a healthy fear of the germs of falsehood that are everywhere around us, we must stay in school until our very last day. Pray for strength, protection, direction, and encouragement that can only be found when we’re hungry students of the Lord.
Morning after morning, bow your head and humbly pray: “Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path.” (Psalm 27:11)
- When did you live most like a student? What was driving your hunger to learn?
- To live like a student again, what changes will you need to make in the way you approach daily life?
- What areas of God’s truth do you need to investigate further and understand more fully? Be specific about 2 or 3.
- Who are 2 or 3 others in your life that you can encourage to live like a student with you?