I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. Psalm 119:93
Which of two teachers would you prefer to learn from? Let’s say that the topic to be taught is THE COMFORTING WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
The first teacher does a word study on ‘comfort. He cross references well and takes you to many passages and stories where God creatively comforted His children. It’s obvious he has a grasp of the topic and is out to impart information to those who listen. He hopes you take good notes so that you can remember the material.
The second teacher speaks briefly about the text. He, too, defines ‘comfort’ and references some related passages. Then, thoughtfully, he begins to reminisce and speak of a time when he was in desperate need of comfort and companionship. It was not to be found. He was alone in a world of family and friends and wondered how he could make it one more day in his sense of isolation. He pressed into God and experienced the comforting work of the Spirit firsthand. As he told the story, you were unaware of time and the weight of his words fell on your heart.
The first teacher works hard at his faith but it’s mostly cerebral. Like a graduating senior who tries to remember calculus formulas so he can ace his freshman math course in college, this bible scholar files away biblical facts. He approaches the bible like a textbook to be mastered. His knowledge of God is based mostly on what he has read, not on what he has experienced.
The second teacher is not so much aware that he is a student as much as he is a disciple of one he loves dearly. Life’s experiences brought him to the end of himself and his great need of a Savior ushered him into a relationship with Jesus. Anything he studies fills in more blanks about a person with whom he experiences a daily relationship.
How much easier to remember God’s precepts when they are woven into the cement of our experience. When the Word has been life-saving, it is not soon forgotten. I’ve heard it said that nothing we know, do we really know, until it has found its way into application.
Not much of what I know is valuable to me, Lord, unless I find it active in our relationship. Help me teach others through the storylines of my life. Amen