God’s people are those whom God has taken into His school. This is a course of study that will continue until the end of our lives. What does God have to teach us? What is His curriculum?
1. We must learn to be quiet
The first thing our young children must learn in their first schooldays is to be quiet. It is often not an easy task for their Kindergarten teacher to train them in this regard. This is also the case in God’s school. We must learn to be quiet, and that can often be so difficult! And yet, learning quietness is of utmost importance. God’s Word says: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).
Why are we often so weak? Because we allow ourselves too few hours of quietness before God!
The next thing students must learn is the alphabet. Many new believers begin to falter at learning the ABCs. They give up at the starting point! Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself” (Matthew 16:24). This means saying “yes” to Jesus and giving Him alone control of our lives. Our lives will forthwith be lived according to His will. We must orientate ourselves by God’s Word in order to do this. So, learning to read is of utmost importance. His Word affords us glimpses into the heart of God. Obedience to God’s Word will result in us being truly happy and free people.
Yet I have the feeling that many believers have not really learned to read. Our “reader” is the Bible. Have the words of God therein truly changed your life?
Mathematics teaches us to make proper calculations. In this life, we make decisions based on observable facts and use them to ascertain what is probable and what is certain in the future. Yet, often our expectations are not realized. In our spiritual life, we also make projections but base them on an unseen element, God. God’s people must learn to calculate differently than the world does. In the physical world, ten is more than nine. But in God’s school we learn that nine is more than ten, for whoever gives his tithe to the Lord will soon realize that he can get much further with the nine parts remaining! God teaches us in Malachi 3:10, “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.’”
4. Singing of Praises
Ongoing mathematical problems can tire us out quickly, but in music class our spirits are soon revived. The following quote has often resounded in my heart: “Singing encompasses a healing and sustaining power by which the body, soul, and spirit of man is made whole.” Yes, let us sing the glorious spiritual hymns at home and abroad, so that the world hears and knows: “The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation” (Exodus 15:2).
Let us not forget to also pray as Jesus’ disciples did: “Lord, teach us to pray!”
Prayer is something that must be learned. The more we practice it, the more we will realize that without prayer and our heavenly Father’s response to it, we are nothing! Yet the better we learn this, the more we will find heaven open above us, and our Father’s loving words resounding in our hearts:
Take from the fullness that Jesus is giving;
His hands are open with blessings anew.
Grace upon grace He gives for daily living,
Not by your merit, but since He loves you.
Even geography is included in God’s curriculum. God’s Spirit directs our thoughts far beyond our comfortable home circles. We see our needy neighbor as a fellow pilgrim and see God’s wonderful blessings in our own lives. We rejoice that we have brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who are on way to heaven with us. We can encourage, comfort, and strengthen one another.
Our heavenly Teacher also gives us homework. Yet, He will never overburden us with it, as He has promised: “…but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” ( 1 Corinthians 10:13).The following verse describes God’s care in this matter:
Our burdens are all measured, weighed,
The pressure finely tuned
To form us to God’s will.
But what we cannot carry,
What goes beyond our strength,
He’ll never let come near us;
His promise He’ll fulfill!
8. God will discipline us
God has the ultimate right to discipline us. However, the very fact that He does so is proof that He has not given up on us! His Word says: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. […] Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:5-6, 11).
We’ve looked at a few elements of the curriculum in God’s school. God has many other lessons we must learn. Why don’t you spend some time thinking about what they may be and ask God to teach you what you need to learn. Promise Him that you’ll accept His leading. Pray with the writer of the following verses:
Speak Lord, and let Your child listen;
My heart and ears be opened wide;
May my spirit glean Your wisdom
As Your voice in me resides.
Reveal Your will, o Savior holy,
I long to be Your student wholly!
Touch my heart by what You say,
Make me willing gladly to obey.
Speak Lord, give us all Your Spirit
As a Teacher right and true,
So that if Your Word we hear not
He remind us of our due.
Spirit, make our hearts secure,
Make Your Word so strong and sure,
That no doubts can shake us
From Your path, nor break us!