The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Spiritual Maturity: Learning From A God Who Loves To Teach

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God always initiates in His relationship with you.  This means that it won’t even occur to you to submit to Him or to change the way you talk to Him until He brings those subjects up with you.  God talks to you in many forms.  Often God talks to us through things that other people write or say.  However God chooses to introduce a new idea to you, you need to realize that He is the One who is inviting you to the next stage of maturity in your relationship with Him.  You also need to realize that God is not the least bit disappointed that you’re not already at that next stage. 

When souls really care about pleasing God, and He points out some way that their submission to Him could grow deeper or He points out some way they are engaging with Him which isn’t very appropriate, the common response is very negative.  Souls feel frustrated, embarrassed, disappointed, and guilty that they haven’t been “doing it right.”  And yet is that how God sees it?  No, it’s not.  To God, you can be doing it right even when you’re doing it wrong.  Let’s use a metaphor to explain how this works.

Suppose Tom is trying to build something, but the only tool he’s using is a hammer.  Hammers are limited in what they can do, so the fact that Tom is never switching tools is negatively affecting the quality of what he’s trying to make.  But here’s the important question: why is Tom trying to use the same tool to do everything?  Is it because he’s just being lazy and that he doesn’t care about doing a good job?  No.  The reason Tom is trying to do everything with a hammer is that he’s never been introduced to other tools.  Tom really cares about doing a good job, and he’s doing the best he can with his hammer, but his lack of understanding is severely limiting him.  To human eyes, Tom’s banged up creation looks pretty bad.  But what does God see?  God sees Tom’s eager attitude, and how hard he’s trying with the only tool he has.  So God would say that Tom is doing a fabulous job.  But at some point, God is also going to introduce Tom to a screwdriver.  Then He’ll bring out a saw, a wrench, and eventually He’ll start in with the power tools.  You see, God loves the whole teaching process.  He loves it so much that you’re not going to get Him to bypass it by pleading with Him to just give you an instant download of everything He ever wants you to know.  This isn’t how God works.  He has very strong preferences, and the better you understand what those preferences you are, the better you’ll  understand why He’s interacting with you the way He is. You’ll also learn to stop wasting your energy trying to get God to do things that He’s never going to do.

Developing a positive dynamic with God requires a lot of adjusting on your part.  But while the adjustments can be frustrating, there is a lot of good news to be had.  You have a Creator who delights in teaching you—how cool is that?  You have a God who enjoys nurturing you along—a God who is not in a flaming hurry to see you reach certain milestones.  Unlike many human parents, coaches, bosses, and teachers, God doesn’t shove His foot in your back and constantly yell at you that you’re not moving fast enough.  He doesn’t stand over you with endless nitpicking criticisms about how you’re doing it wrong.

If a human were to praise Tom’s one-tool flop, the human would be faking their enthusiasm for Tom’s work, because Tom’s work really looks pretty bad.  There’s only so good you can do with a hammer.  But when God praises Tom’s work, God is not just being polite.  God is genuinely pleased with the effort Tom is making. God is thrilled with Tom’s desire to  do a good job.  So you see, God is much easier to succeed with than human teachers are.  When He sees that you care about pleasing Him, He thoroughly enjoys each stage of your development.  He loves the journey—He’s not just fixated on reaching a certain destination.  He loves the whole process of endlessly conversing with your soul and seeing your excitement and wonder as you gain new kernels of understanding.

God loves teaching humans—not because He has to, but because He chooses to.  We aren’t some tiresome project that was shoved on God by someone else.  We are a project He created for Himself—a project He wanted to do.  Remember this when God starts introducing you to a new tool, a new insight, or a new way of looking at things.  Remember that you’re being taught by a God who loves to teach, and that you’re in the hands of a Creator who loves taking care of His creations.  Once you realize how positively God views your learning process, it will help you start to view the process more positively yourself.  In your relationship with God, there will always be more to learn, more surprises, and more uncharted territory.  As far as He is concerned, this is a fabulous thing.

FURTHER READING:
Getting to Know God: Understanding the Process
Understanding How Easy it is to Succeed with God
Understanding Why God Calls Us to Serve Him
Soul Attitudes That Please God: What They Are & How We Develop Them

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