God Is My Teacher
Chapter taken from " The Very Heart of Worship"
Written By Cypress Ministries
Copyright Material, all rights reserved
I spoke to the prophets and gave them many visions,
Through them, I taught my lessons to you.
I believe there is a reason why the Bible was only written one time and needed only to be so long, with no need to keep adding to it. That is because it doesn’t matter what age we live in or what generation we belong to, at some point, we as humans tend to make the same kind of mistakes over and over again. So the same principle lessons that were taught to the people of the Bible so long ago are the same principle lessons we still need to learn today. A good verse for you to look up and read that goes along with this thought, is Ecclesiastes 3:15: “What happens now has happened in the past, and what will happen in the future has happened before.”
Thankfully we in the new covenant of Christ don’t have to make the same blood offerings that the generations in Moses’ time had to. But the same key lessons God wanted His people to learn about Him are still the same. Also, if you will pray for an open mind and a learning heart before reading your Bible you will see the Holy Spirit showing you similarities in your situation and the circumstances in your life to that of the people in biblical times. The same lessons that God sought to teach His people then are what He wants to teach you and me now.
Jesus told His followers in Matthew 24:35: “Earth and sky will be destroyed, but the words I have said will never be destroyed.” Just as God Himself will not change, neither does His Word. If God will go to great lengths to teach His people back then, we have to know that He will do that for us now. He is going to have to, otherwise how will we be able to grow and walk with Him? In the same way that I cannot expect our children to go outside and work on something if we haven’t taught them how, God teaches us how to follow Him.
The other evening one of the tenants who is leasing an office suite in our building called because his air conditioner wasn’t working. Instead of calling the service technicians out, our oldest son said he would go up and look at it. An hour and a half later, he had it working just fine and our tenant was very happy and kept commending our son on a job well done. Now, our son could never have done that if he hadn’t been taught how.
Throughout this study I keep stressing my desire for you to look up the Scriptures for yourselves and take time to read them. It’s not because I don’t have confidence in what I am sharing with you, but because I want you to enjoy a rich, full relationship of your own with God and not a secondhand relationship through me or my experiences.
Imagine if someone came up to you saying, “Hey, God has granted me one request and I have asked for Peter to come down and teach you personally.” Now, that would be wonderful. Just think of learning under someone like Peter who actually walked and talked with Jesus! But what if I came to you and said, “Well, Jesus decided that wasn’t quite good enough, so He has decided to come down and teach you personally.” Who would you rather learn firsthand from -- Peter or Jesus?
Keep in mind I am in NO WAY comparing myself to Peter; I am just using that as an analogy. What I am ultimately trying to say is: use what I am sharing with you as a tool and a stepping stone, then dig deeper into God’s Word and experience how God will bring His words to life in your heart and in your circumstances. Then later as you come alongside someone, you will be able to say, “This is what God has taught me.”
Core Study Verse: Nehemiah 9:19-20:
“You have great mercy, so you did not leave them in the desert.
The pillar of cloud guided them by day, and the pillar of fire led them at night,
lighting the way they were to go.
You gave your good Spirit to teach them.
You gave them manna to eat and water
when they were thirsty.”
Why did God do these things? (1) To provide for them, and (2) To teach them. By doing these things He taught them about Himself. He showed them that He was faithful, that He cared for them, that He was strong enough to protect them … all the things we have been reading and talking about already in this book and still everything else to come. God taught them who He was, which is what this whole study book is about.
In the Old Testament, God taught His people through priests and leaders He chose who had an open mind and heart in which to hear God’s words. Listen to what Moses told the people in Deuteronomy 30:11-14: “This command I give you today is not too hard for you; it is not beyond what you can do. It is not up in heaven. You do not have to ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and get it for us so we can obey it and keep it?’ It is not on the other side of the sea. You do not have to ask, ‘Who will go across the sea and get it? Who will tell it to us so we can keep it?’ No, the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”
What the Israelites didn’t know was Moses was referring to God’s Holy Spirit who would be sent to live inside of future generations. However, because Christ hadn’t come yet and died, God’s Holy Spirit hadn’t been released. Moses was trying to teach the people that God’s Word and God Himself were not far away and He would be released inside of people to come. My Friend, that is us!
When we accept Christ, God’s Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us so the spirit in us can commune with God. It is through the Spirit of God that we are able to learn, heed His voice, and follow Him.
Jesus explained to His followers that although He was at the moment speaking to them, later there would be another sent to them. The Holy Spirit was to help them remember what Jesus had taught them previously and also to continue teaching them of things to come. My friend, the same Spirit lives in us! That same Spirit that Jesus spoke of helps us to learn and recall what God has said to us. John 14:25-26 says, “I have told you all these things while I am with you. But the Helper will teach you everything and will cause you to remember all that I told you. This Helper is the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name.”
So in saying all of that, I encourage you to open your heart to God’s Holy Spirit. Let Him come in and take up residence inside of you. Invite the Holy Spirit to renew your mind and thinking, to clean out old or wrong understanding and give you new perspective and knowledge of God Himself. In doing so, it is truly eye-opening, and I don’t just mean your human physical eyes, but your spiritual eyes as well. Ask God; invite Him to give you a desire to learn. Ask God to teach you how. I have never known or heard of God turning an invitation like that down.
Another lesson on God being our teacher involves God taking someone aside to help them. The first verse I ask you to turn to is Mark 7:33: “Jesus led the man away from the crowd, by himself. He put his fingers in the man’s ears and then spit and touched the man’s tongue.”
Now, why the need to take the man away from the crowd? I think it was to take the man away from all those who would distract him into unbelief. By taking the man away, all he could do was focus on Jesus. The Lord now would have his undivided attention. Remember, it is our belief that God can and will help us that brings divine action.
This is the same concept as with the man and his little girl in Mark 5:35-36: “While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of the synagogue leader. They said, ‘Your daughter is dead. There is no need to bother the teacher anymore. But Jesus paid no attention to what they said. He told the synagogue leader, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’”
Put yourself in this man’s shoes. Someone just tells you your daughter is dead, but here is a flicker of hope from someone else saying, “No, she’s not.” Think of the turmoil he must have felt, torn between human feelings of wanting to crumble at what the physical circumstances looked like and a heart-wrenching hope that maybe it’s not what it appears to be. When everyone came up to this man saying, “Your daughter is dead,” for the briefest of moments his face turns to look at them. Jesus looks him straight in the eye and says, “NO! Don’t look at them, Look at me. Don’t listen to them, listen to me. Don’t believe them, BELIEVE ME."
Think of the courage it must have taken for this man to turn his back on everything human logic would say is true so he could dare to believe what Jesus was saying instead. I wonder if it took a second, if there was the slightest pause while this man stood, among his family and friends who were crying and mourning, and stared into Jesus’ face. Imagine, two pair of eyes searching each other’s, one pair of eyes pleading, “Trust me, believe me,” and the other pair of eyes in tears searching for the hope of possibilities. I wonder how long they stood there. I wonder how long it took for this man to make his decision. Was it in the space of a heartbeat, maybe? Or, was it just long enough for him to take a deep breath and work up the courage to take a step forward?
However long, I guess it doesn’t matter because Scripture shows his faith was enough. The next verses show that somewhere inside this man, he believed. Jesus left with this man, Peter, James, and John, and when they arrived at this man’s house only to be met with ridicule and laughter, Jesus threw everyone out. And again, “He took aside in private” only those with faith to believe. And this little girl and her parents received God’s gift of resurrection.
These aren’t the only times that Jesus took people aside. Another viewpoint of this is that Jesus often took His disciples aside to teach them and to share with them things to come and to explain in private the lessons He had taught openly among many others. Matthew 20:17, Mark 10:32 and Luke 9:10 are some examples of this.
If you put this into the perspective of our core study verse from Nehemiah 9, we see the same thing during Moses’ time. Turn to Exodus 24:12-18. God called Moses up on the mountain to spend time with Him so He could teach Moses and give him instructions to take back to the whole group. You see, God needed time alone with Moses so that Moses could focus on God’s voice and obtain God’s Word without the distractions of leadership responsibilities and the clamoring of all the people.
When God calls you aside to spend time with Him; don’t struggle against Him. Know that at some point He is going to send you back down to the people. But for a season, enjoy the time with God and the incredible knowledge that God, the awesome wonder of the universe, wants you to Himself.
Remember though, God never blesses us or gives us something for greed’s sake. He expects us to share. He blesses one so others may receive as well. It could be financial blessings, material blessings, or even the Word of God. I like Matt. 10:27, “I tell you these things in the dark, but I want you to tell them in the light. What you hear whispered in your ear you should shout from the housetops.” He teaches us so that in return we can share it and teach someone else for Him.
In closing of God is My Teacher,
♥ PRAYING IN FAITH
Father God, thank You. We praise You for Your willingness to teach us. Thank You for Your lessons and for Your Holy Spirit who helps us to learn. Lord, as much as You are willing, we ask You to pour out spiritual wisdom and knowledge into each of us. Lord, show us and share with us Your truths. Teach us to walk in Your way. Teach us to live according to Your plans that You have for each of us.
Lord God, thank You for this time spent in Your Word. Lord, I pray that Your words are being planted and growing in this reader’s life as well.
In Christ Jesus’ name I pray,