Do you want to go deeper in your relationship with God? I certainly do. I’ve tasted and seen that God is good—and I want more! As I’ve discussed, this requires getting into His Word. As we read, study, and meditate the Holy Spirit will help us understand the Bible if we have…
A teachable heart!
A few years ago, I had the privilege of writing The Master’s Garden, a crazy allegory of a fantasy world called Plantasia where plants can think, see, hear, and speak! Those plants who want to come under the care of the Master Gardener (God) are grafted onto the Vine from which they are to live and grow from that point on.
Here is an excerpt from the companion devotional that will help
YOU have a teachable heart!
Note: The purple-colored quotes are from the allegory, The Master’s Garden.
Day 13 Open Stems
The Master Gardener says to New Dawn, a spindly rose longing to be more…
“Do not hinder My good desires for you. Remain pliable and teachable. Then you can be all that you were meant to be. I know that is what you strive for.” [Chapter 4]
A good teacher wants her students to listen attentively, understand the material, and then use it. She helps them understand the important concepts at their pace and tries to convey the material in a way that is interesting. She encourages her students to ask questions and to persevere when they don’t get it. And when they achieve good grades or master important concepts after hard work, she praises them. A good teacher’s motive is always to benefit her learners. This describes our God precisely. Our Master Gardener is also a Master Teacher!
“My Living Water enables them to see My truth if their stems are open. I know how to explain things in a way that makes sense to them, like I did with you.” [Chapter 15]
However, no matter how good the teacher is, the students still have to put in the eff ort; they have to do their part. How much eff ort it takes for success depends on several things such as their capability, the material’s level of difficulty, and their willingness to learn.
Yesterday I talked about developing our own strong root system in the Bible. That necessitates being teachable—open to what the Lord wants to teach us at any given point in time.
I personally have always loved to learn. I think God made me that way so I could fulfill my purpose as a teacher, speaker, and writer. But although I love to gain knowledge, there are some truths that are hard to accept, such as loving my enemy. And when the Lord told me to write a book and start a ministry, I had to delve into many things which I simply didn’t want to learn— like technology and marketing. I needed to learn these things in order to be equipped to carry out His purpose for me.
Teachers know that it’s really hard to teach someone who is fighting them through the process. Thankfully, we have an incredibly patient—and persistent—Teacher. He helps us get to the place where we realize that it would be worth putting in the effort to learn the things that He has deemed necessary for us. In other words, He takes us to a place of surrender. Here are the ways He accomplishes this:
- Our wise Teacher knows what makes us tick
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar…. You are familiar with all my ways. (Ps 139:2-3).
Sometimes I resist learning simply out of fear that I cannot grasp the material. He also knows my propensity to avoid wasting time and effort. The Lord knows exactly how to overcome any of our objections and makes it worth our while.
- He takes us at the right pace, helping us understand ground level information before taking us up into higher education.
- He repeats what we need to grasp through a variety of biblical passages, messages, and circumstances.
Although she had learned many of them before, they hadn’t reached deep inside her, partly because she had not been fully compliant and open to her Keeper earlier…. It takes repeated drenching of the Living Water before new ideas can be absorbed into a plant’s system. [Chapter 9]
- He shows us that we can actually learn difficult things if we put our minds to it and allow His enabling power to assist us.
I remember back in 2017, when I felt the necessity to make an audio version of my weekly blog. I was clueless about how to do it. But I Googled and You-Tubed and voila! Four hours later I was jumping up and down the hall with the thrill that I had actually done it—with God’s help, of course!
Success in learning something difficult greatly helps the next time we are confronted with something we don’t know how to do. It’s called self-efficacy, knowing that we are capable of doing something. When we know our God is in charge, we can have a lot of this kind of confidence!
- The Lord rewards us with the joy of understanding.
I am amazed at the insights the Lord gives me as I read the Bible. I am not amazed that God can give them to me, but that He wants to give them to me! When I recognize that it is the Holy Spirit enlightening me, I just have to stop and worship Him—to thank Him profusely for being such a great Teacher and for giving me spiritual eyes to see His life-altering truths, and to pray for the grace to apply them and pass them on.
Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding…seek them like hidden treasures…. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair…. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. (Pr 2:2-4, 9-10 NLT)
Even after we understand better how the Master Teacher works, there may still be times when we resist learning. But we can come to that place of being teachable quicker when we think about that smile on our Savior’s face and all the wonderful things He desires to impart to open hearts.
Tending Your Own Garden
† Is the Lord trying to equip you for His service? Does He want you to gain more biblical knowledge, learn a new language or a new skill? Don’t fight against Him. You’ll be surprised how many wonderful things you can learn if the Lord is in them!
† In what areas has your self-efficacy increased? How did God help you attain it?
† Read Proverbs 2 and mark all the incentives you see for gaining wisdom and knowledge.
“Oh Gardener, You are the best Teacher anyone could ever have!” [Says New Dawn Chapter 15]
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The Master’s Garden: An Allegory of Abiding in the Vine
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Read another excerpt from A 30-Day Walk through the Master’s Garden
(NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.