Thursday, September 17, 2015

Teachable Spirit

Pastor George O. Wood, who is the General Superintendent of Assemblies of God shared an incident in one of the book written by him. In the book titled "Living in the Spirit", an incident is mentioned about a lady who used to make loud noise during the church service which was creating disturbance for everyone. She was doing it as if it was done for the God's glory and in her view was a spiritual manifestation. Finally Pastor George called her and her husband to his office and told her to stop it as it was becoming difficult for others and also he did not think that she was doing it in the right spirit. The end of the story is that she left the church in few weeks. An important lesson he shared was that the sign of maturity in a person is how much they are willing to submit to be taught or for correction. In other words do they have a teachable spirit?  

We see lot of people who claim that they are spiritually mature but don't have any inclination or willingness to submit to instruction from others. They have a "greater than thou" attitude and look down on others. Sometimes such people may be gifted in some area and their focus is only on that. They think they have figured out everything in life and nothing is left to learn. They are rebellious to authority placed by God and will normally not submit to any form of authority,  They will claim to be under God's authority and will not associate with people.

We read about a person in the book of Acts, chapter 18. His name is Apollos.

Acts 18:24-28
Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, born in Alexandria, who was an eloquent man and powerful in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John, but being fervent in spirit, he accurately spoke and taught the things concerning the Lord. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him and explained the way of God more accurately. When Apollos intended to pass into Achaia, the brothers wrote to encourage the disciples to welcome him. On arriving, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace. For he vehemently refuted the Jews publicly, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. (MEV)

Apollos was an eloquent man and he knew the Scriptures very well. He was preaching accurately and taught about Lord Jesus Christ. He was bold when he spoke in synagogue. All of these things easily qualifies him to be invited for the next special meeting as our guest speaker. If it was today then he will be a very busy man flying from one city to another preaching.

He had one problem that he only knew about the baptism of John. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him home and explained the way of God more accurately. I praise God that Aquila and Priscilla had that attitude to correct an upcoming eloquent preacher. That's a great thing and we will focus on it some other day. Let's focus on Apollos and what did he do? It says that later also he was used by God and he refuted Jews publicly proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. Apollos changed his message based on what he learned. He was teachable.

If Apollos did not have a teachable spirit then I am not sure what would have happened but the Bible tells that he became a very effective preacher who was speaking truth.

The question is are we teachable by God and man? In Psalms 25:4, David  prayed like this:
Make me to know Your ways, O Lord;  teach me Your paths. (MEV)

We see lot of people who are not willing to learn from others thinking they will only learn from God directly. I am happy about such people. Then I see something else in the Bible. The Bible talks about God selecting and anointing people to teach us the word. You will see that God gave teachers also to the Church to equip saints (Ephesians 4:11-12). We need a teachable spirit if we have to grow in Christ and reach maturity in faith.

Psalms 141:5
"Let the righteous man strike me; it shall be a kindness.
Let him rebuke me; it shall be oil for my head;
let my head not refuse it. For my prayer is continually against their evil deeds." (MEV)

Do you have a teachable spirit?

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