Teaching

curtain-165488_640Jeremiah 32:33: And they turn unto Me the neck, and not the face, and teaching them, rising early and teaching, and they are not hearkening to accept instruction. (YLT)

Teaching is to retrain the mind. There is the need for instruction in righteousness, as the bible says (2Timothy 3:16). Without such instruction, the life of righteousness can hardly be lived. What the devil did in the Garden of Eden was to redirect the focus of Eve from the word of God, in the first of “doctrine of demons” that the devil will introduce on the earth (Genesis 3).

Teachings that take root in you are like codes within you that get you to function in a certain way when the right buttons are pressed, with the right environmental stimuli, so to speak. With the right coding, you get to act in a certain way.

Your actions will follow your internal programming, the teachings you have imbibed. That is why Paul warned that evil communication corrupt good manners (1Corinthians 15:33). Because we learn from those who we associate with, they encode us with their character flaws by passive osmosis and we get to act like they do. In another place in the bible we read that we need to make going to church important so that we can be stirred up to love and good works, they activate to act the way we should in an atmosphere of love, and right instruction (Hebrews 10:25-26).

Just as the wrong teaching is important to the devil and he is hard at work flooding the world with his wrong teaching, to get them to act untoward to God, towards Jesus, God is also sending his word out through all available avenue. He psalmist wrote: the lord gave the word, great was the multitude of they who proclaim it (Psalm 68:11).

Paul is interested in a teaching network to blanket the world with truth. He told Timothy to commit to others who can teach others what he had taught him (2Timothy 2:2).

The whole bible is a giant teaching textbook on the ways of God, which we ignore to our own peril. The teaching of the bible is spiritual encoding in which prime us to think like God and shine as lights since God is light.

The importance of the thinking on the word of God is brought poignantly home by the first psalm where the flourishing life of a man was linked to the fact that he meditates day and night on the word of God, because from the word comes the life of God, and creates the reality of heaven around and inside us.

But God cannot force truth on you. That is the point the focus verse is about. The people referred to were constantly confronted with the truth, with the right teaching but they decided to turn their back on it, they were called to come to the knowledge of the truth but they said they have other things on their mind.

Jesus gave a parable of the king who invited people to feast in his house, but those who were first invited said that they have some other things to do with their time. They were busy and in their mind it was not a priority to heed to the word of the king, to fellowship with him, to be in his presence (Matthew 22:1-12).

And the word of God is like spiritual food. And we are called upon to feast. Jesus said when we eat his flesh then we will have life in us (John 6:53). We are called to feast on the words of God for spiritual nourishment. Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). In the wilderness, the children of Israel had to pick the manna every day for their physical sustenance and it was an indication of the fact that we need to feed on the word of God daily. No wonder Peter said we need to take in the word of God so that we can grow, otherwise we will be spiritually malnourished and may not even know it (1Peter 2:2).

What we need is to focus on Jesus and we get his passion for God, for the word, for his work. He has it in full. Jesus rebuked a church for losing their first love, they lost focus on Jesus and started to seek for other things, pursue their own agenda (Revelation 2:4-5).

When we stop being encumbered, with sincerity of devotion to Christ, we can run with passion after him.

We would not get into the word as we should if we are not in pursuit of Jesus as our primary aim. If reading the bible for you is about strengthening your relationship with Jesus through your knowledge of him, then you are set up for a lifetime of discovery and the more you know the more you want to know (John 5:39-40). You will not get enough.

There are things he wants to tell you today that you did not know yesterday, that you were not taught in bible school, if you went to one. The discovery of truth is about looking into the face of Jesus, it is a discovery of Jesus, who is truth (John 14:6).

The bible says in his light we see light (Psalm 36:9), and light means knowledge. In him, in his knowledge, we experience liberty (2Corinthians 3:16-18), and more love because knowing God means flowing in more love (1John 1:5, 2:8-10).

Paul said that the goal of the teaching is love from a pure heart, sincere faith and good conscience (1Timothy 1:5). We should look for us expressing more and more love, express more and more of the character of God, the more divine truth we know. This is how Paul puts it: put on the Christ (Romans 13:14), learn Christ (Ephesians 4:20), be imitators of God as little children (Ephesians 5:1).

Sincere faith is another goal of teaching. Paul said that faith comes by hearing he word of God, but doubts come by hearing the words of the devil (Romans 10:17), but the more we make ourselves focus on the word of God, by whatever means possible and consistently we drown out the doubts and stand as people of faith.

Good conscience: there is no conscience without the knowledge of right and wrong. And the stronger truth is rooted in us the more we can differentiate between right and wrong decision and direction. The more filled we are in truth the more we can separate it from lies, the less we will be tossed to and from by any wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:11-15), the less we will susceptible to deception, which is the devil’s forte. The more convinced we are about the truth, the deeper we are in the word and in the truth. We need to have the stronghold of truth built in us.

There is no magic about it. While the devil is marshalling his lies which come with darkness, we need to be armed with the truth to be able to resist. That was the example that Jesus gave us. When the enemy came to trip him with temptation Jesus was able to rise up against him using the word of God as the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). He told the devil: “it is written…,” and so was not deceived.

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