Friday, March 27, 2015

Becoming Like God...In His Wisdom (3 of 3)

The previous post this week ended with the following quote:
“The end of learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love Him and to imitate Him.” – John Milton

This statement provides a glimpse of the answer to the question: Why is it important to learn?

Ultimately, the answer, especially as it relates to God is because of worship! Jesus said God wants those who worship in Spirit (devotion) AND truth (facts). But we often succumb to the tyranny of the “or” – that we must choose option a OR option b. If you are familiar with the Coke Zero commercials, that is a part of their appeal (even for a Pepsi drinker like me). These commercials don’t focus on the “or”, they promote an “AND” way of thinking. Getting back to Jesus statement in John 4, it is not about worshiping in spirit or truth. It is learning to worship in spirit and truth.

Consider the other two alternatives:

To worship in Spirit without truth could lead us to not know what/who we are worship? (Rom 10.2)
To worship in Truth without spirit leads us to focus on mere facts with dead hearts.

Yet, in Jesus’ statement an “or” is present if we look closely. Jesus says we can worship what we know in spirit AND truth OR we can be like the Samaritans, whom Jesus says “worship what you do not know” in the previous verse (4.22).

This week’s letter for the JOURNEY is O – Observe. To know what to observe, we must learn. And if we don’t observe what we learn, then what’s the point in learning?

So what is our next step? Let me tweak our question for this series to make it about learning:

If your growth in godliness were measured by your learning, or your desire to learn, what would be the result?

So what’s the next step in Becoming Like God? NOTICE.

Again, this series is entitled Becoming Like God. The reality is that none of us are there yet. So, we need to learn. And then learn some more. And when we die, we will never cease to learn. And yet, we will never know as much as God. That is a mind-boggling thought. It just shows that we have much to learn. It shows us that in our efforts to become more like God, we can never become God. Yet we continue to strive to be more than we are today. So, specifically, what can you do as it relates to learning? Well, we return to our 4L’s – Learn, Live, Love, and Lead – to provide potential next steps for each of us. Again, consider where you are in your worship RIGHT NOW. And let the Spirit lead you to what you might next do.

Learn about learning. Where do you learn? How do you best learn? What subject do you wish to learn more?

Set aside a little time each day, or each week to learn about that subject or subjects? Be intentional.

Engage in discussions with others about the topic(s). In doing this, we begin to know what we have learned?

Teach others what you have learned. Informally or formally, just help others to develop a desire to learn as well.

*This series of posts is adapted from Donald Whitney’s book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.

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