Faithful, Available, and Teachable Devotional Reading and Podcast
There are specific careers that impact your morals, values, and lifestyle. Can you imagine an Accountant who possessed poor money management skills and had to file for bankruptcy? Or a Doctor who prescribed multiple medications known as polypharmacy instead of advising their patients to modify their lifestyles to include healthy eating and exercise?
“For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled and bewildered by them]. I do not practice what I want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate [and yielding to my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity].” –Romans 7:15, Amplified Bible
Because of the innate battle of good versus evil, humanity struggles with the ability to possess right-thinking. Even those with strategic skills and medical experts who use their rational intellect every day in professional settings can have messed up personal lives because they cannot control their emotions and desires.
From Adam and Eve to the disciple Peter, and the apostle Paul, we read biblical accounts of humanity’s inner conflict because of the heart’s desire to please self. We are not left helpless in our struggle against sin. For those who desire to live righteously, God is just a prayer away. “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
We have the assurance that God will always keep His Word. Yet, Divine Intervention requires human effort first. “Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind'” (Matthew 22:37). Every decision that we make reveals whether or not we love God or ourselves.
By putting God first, we not only demonstrate a heart filled with love and the willingness to please Him our hearts also reflect the spiritual requisites of humility and obedience.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you…” (1 Peter 5:6). Do we struggle with humility and obedience? Yes, all of us struggle with resisting the carnal desire to do what is pleasing to ourselves.
“Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.” (2 Kings 5:1)
Although Naaman had great status, he suffered from the incurable disease of leprosy. When Elisha the prophet heard of his dilemma, he sent a messenger telling him to come to his house.
“Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean'” (2 Kings 5:10).
Naaman’s Prideful Reaction
“But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, ‘Indeed, I said to myself, He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy. Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?’ So he turned and went away in a rage.” (2 Kings 5:11-12).
Naaman was healed of his leprosy but had to be persuaded with pacifying words by his servants before he would obey God’s command to wash in the Jordan river. Are we 21st-century Naamans, feeling disgruntled because God expects obedience? The difference between us and Naaman is that we have no one to convince us that we should obey God.
Many believers lose out on God’s perfect plans and blessings. Their hearts are not filled with unconditional love for God. There is no middle ground. Our love is demonstrated by giving God honor and glory through faithful obedience.
Three characteristics reveal our willingness to please God: We are Faithful, Available, and Teachable.
Faithful–Faith is believing and knowing without a doubt that we serve a dependable, unchanging God. Whenever we face temptations, the Red Sea experiences, and challenges in the routine of daily life, we pray, and confidently wait for God’s deliverance. Unwavering faith says, “I know that God will bring victory!”
Available–Here, I am, send me, is the response from the committed heart to be available to do God’s will. Even though we work full-time jobs, when it is time for us to go and witness, feed the homeless, or volunteer as a phone prayer warrior, God does not ask us to do the impossible, the Holy Spirit will always impart us with the mental strength and physical stamina to complete God’s work.
Teachable–Are we willing to learn? “Instruct a wise man, and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man, and he will increase his learning” (Proverbs 9:9). Spiritually, we are on a forever learning curve. When studying the Scriptures, we pray and rely on the Holy Spirit for the discernment of God’s Truth.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” –James 1:5
Wisdom is a gift from God that is necessary for us to live righteously. And like King Solomon, we have to pray for wisdom. As we seek knowledge from the Bible, the Teacher [Holy Spirit] not only gives us discernment, He teaches us to apply God’s Word to our practical lives. The Holy Spirit instructs us in changing our unrighteous behaviors and habits. We learn how to love and respond appropriately to our enemies and learn the principles of stewardship–to manage the financial resources given by God.
The Holy Spirit speaks to our conscience by guiding our decisions, and the choices we make to enable us to stay in perfect alignment with God’s will. Continuous learning is required in our journey of Sanctification. Never give Satan the advantage over your life because you possess a spirit of pride and the unwillingness to learn.
God expects that we will strive to live righteously as evidenced by our faithfulness, availability [putting God first], and our desire to learn [being teachable]. Our works are evidence of the love, faith, obedience, and willingness to meet God’s righteous standards which are unreachable without Divine help.
Those who have godly wisdom know that they cannot stay on the Path of Righteousness without Divine Intervention. Every day, we need Help! Without the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to live righteously and experience the spiritual transformation that is necessary to receive eternal life.
Scripture Reading: “Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you, And in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'” –Genesis 12:1-3. Abraham was a patriarch who was faithful, available, and teachable.
Prayer: Lord, we pray for those who are faithful, available to do your work, and seeking spiritual knowledge through the Scriptures. We ask that You will send the Holy Spirit to strengthen them in their times of weakness. And we pray for those who struggle with the inner conflict of right and wrong that they will surrender to Your will. We thank You for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.