Bible Reading: Matthew 11:25-30; Philippians 4:11-13
Imagine you were boarding an aeroplane and then you just randomly overheard two of the airline people saying that the pilot didn’t actually learn how to fly a plane. He’s largely just figuring things out and hoping for the best.
I can imagine the speed with which you’ll jump out.
The truth is that for everything important in life or about life, we recognise the importance of learning and being trained in it- whether it’s how to drive a car, or how to cook a particular meal, or a particular profession, or how to play sports, and so on. We learn and get trained in life, whether formally or informally.
We defined a disciple yesterday as someone who is committed to following and learning from another, fully embracing the trainings and disciplines therein.
At the core of being a disciple of Jesus is that we are learning and we are being trained. Without it actively happening in us, we cannot claim to be disciples.
Jesus’ invitation to us is clear: ‘Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me’ (Matthew 11:29 NKJV)
Being a learner is different from showing up in places of learning to mark attendance. Being trained is so different from having all the training kits and knowing the processes. It is in itself an active, rigorous and engaging process.
For us as christians, learning is not just about the fact that we show up in church and other christian places. It is not even that we own or casually read a bible and all that. It is that we wholeheartedly embrace the engaging process of learning. It must mean that we are allowing knowledge acquired to be training us and shaping our decisions and lives.
‘Everywhere and in all things I have learned…’ Philippians 4:12 NKJV
Here’s how a disciple thinks- he takes on the attitude and posture of a student at all times, because he knows that as far as God is concerned, we are perpetually set up to be learning. Whether the disciple is in a season of abundance, or a season of need, he’s asking himself, ‘what can I be learning now?’ The lesson can be focus, but it will be learnt differently in a time of abundance, from how it will be learnt in a time need. The lesson can be contentment, but it will be learnt different in abundance and in need.
Jesus calls us to live with the attitude and posture of students that embrace the learning process at all times. Our moods and feelings don’t matter. Our status doesn’t matter. A student shows up always to learn and be trained.
Here’s where many people miss it: They see the church as merely a ‘feeding centre’ for christians, but not as a training ground. They see the Bible as a book to help Christians, but not a training manual. But the church is alot more than a place we go to be blessed. It is a place we go to be shaped. Through fellowship, relationships, serving, teaching, submission, generosity, and so on, the disciple is being trained in all ramifications of the life that God calls us to live. The Bible is alot more than a book we read to be helped through seasons. It is a training manual that gives shape to our lives.
My encouragement is that you are constantly asking yourself whether you are growing in your sensitivity to learning and training, or declining in it?
Are you looking around you well enough and reading the clouds? Are you asking the right people the right questions? Are you accepting God’s word and allowing it to shape your thoughts, plans and your life as a whole? Are you embracing correction? Are you accepting challenges and stretchings? Or are you just complaining and looking to make things comfortable for yourself?
One of the hallmarks of being a disciple of Jesus- one of the places to measure our discipleship is not merely how much of Jesus stuff we get around- rather it is how much of Jesus stuff we embrace in such a way that it is shaping our thoughts, plans and lives.