Devotional Reading—Our Willingness to Learn Determines Our Destiny By Sonya Johnson
In the 1990s, the nursing staff at the facility where I worked were scheduled for a mandatory meeting. Many anticipated the news that we would receive a hefty raise in salary or that the company was purchased by another organization. No, our educated guesses were wrong. We were signing up for a mandatory one-week educational seminar to learn electronic medical records software.
I was among the younger group of nurses who were elated that the tedious job of handwritten patient documentation was ending. Yet, I remember looking at many faces portraying disgust and anger. In anticipation of refusal to learn the software, the Administrator emphasized that our jobs were reliant on making the transition from handwritten documentation to electronic documentation within 30 days.
The nurses who were resistant attempted to stifle progress by filing a grievance–which they lost. The facility lost 50-60% of its nursing staff [either by resignation or termination] who were not willing to learn electronic health record documentation.
Resistance to learning is a forever problem that impedes the progression of one’s life.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” –2 Timothy 1:7
God anticipated that we would need divine intervention. We were created with the innate traits and abilities to travel the journey on the Path of Righteousness. Our lives revolve around a continuous cycle of learning, falling down, and repentance. Yet, if we surrender daily to God, we change from fulfilling the desires of our carnal hearts to one of righteous living.
For the Christian believer, resistance to learning prevents us from achieving the daily spiritual growth of becoming like Christ, Sanctification. For our destiny to be the New Heaven and New Earth, we must endure the change necessary to have the Character of Christ. It’s a tough journey. Even so, we are never alone!
“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” –Matthew 6:6
The Learning Curve: With the noise of world news, social media, and life events, we are challenged to recognize the quiet voice of God. Develop the habit of isolation when worshipping God. Forget about the cell phone and the cares of life in your communion with God. Taking the time to allow the Holy Spirit to provide spiritual renewal and restoration is of utmost importance. Break the habit of saying a prayer on the go. Many times we pray, say Amen, and never receive God’s answers because we failed to heed His command, “Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10, first part).
We require daily prayer to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Learning to remain in a posture [mindset] of waiting for God to reveal His will and plans along with the diligent study of the Holy Bible is vital for knowing who the Trinity Godhead—God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are and their purpose in our spiritual journey.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:6-7
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST (renewal, blessed quiet) FOR YOUR SOULS.” –Matthew 11:29, Amplified Bible
What does it mean to take Jesus’ yoke?
“Wearing the yoke with Christ means to…to be a copartner with Him in His sufferings and toils for lost humanity. In accepting Christ’s yoke of restraint and obedience, you will find that it is of the greatest help to you. Wearing this yoke keeps you near the side of Christ, and He bears the heaviest part of the load.” Ellen G.White
“…to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29). God comes and takes us out of our emotionalism, and then our complaining turns into a hymn of praise. The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke [burden] of Jesus upon us and to learn from Him.” Oswald Chambers
The reward of Eternal life requires us to give up all hindrances and worldly pleasures. To consecrate our all to Jesus Christ [which requires sacrificial giving] goes against our carnal heart’s desires. “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…’” —Revelation 3:17.
Continuous spiritual learning is the foundation for our lifelong journey of Sanctification. Obedience and restraint [temperance, self-control] mandate that our hearts are filled with humility and we have a mindset of perseverance. To be a disciple of Christ, we must learn to endure suffering. Yet, the Apostle Paul who lived the remainder of His life in prison and became a martyr for Christ gives us words of hope.
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” –2 Corinthians 4:8-10
Yes, as Christians we are on a forever learning curve. Never forget that Jesus gave us the priceless gift of Redemption. Every test, trial, and hardship prepares us for eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth. Just as an athlete learns to eat the balanced meals that provide them with the energy to sustain their daily training for competitive events, we must learn to feed daily on the Word of God to receive the spiritual strength to endure the Christian race.
Bible Study: 2 Corinthians chapter 4
Prayer: God, we pray for the strength to endure the race. Help us to understand that we must have the Character of Christ to receive the reward of eternal life. With humility, we ask You to empower us with the Holy Spirit so that we can learn to live obediently and righteously in preparation for our forever lives in Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.