Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Teachable Heart

I subscribe to receive daily devotions from Proverbs31. To be totally honest, I don't ALWAYS read them. Sometimes, I skim through them and think, "ah, this doesn't apply to me" and then I skip it. To be truthful, I'm not sure why I read the ones I do and why I skip some. I'm sure I'm missing some incredible wisdom nuggets. I really need to be more diligent about my devotions.

The devotion I'm sharing today cuts to the heart of the (my) matter. Then again when doesn't God's Word hit the nail on the head?!

A Teachable Heart

By Lysa TerKeurst

Isaiah 2:3, “He will teach us his ways so that we may walk in his paths.”(NIV)

As a mom, I often find myself in the role of teacher and instructor. Whether I am showing them how to tie their shoes, how to ride a bike, or how to finish their homework, I love teaching my kids how to do new things. I rejoice when they succeed and try my best to guide them in the way that is right and best for them. However, my teaching and instruction can only work if they are willing to listen and receive what I have to share.

Today’s key verse tells us that God teaches and instruct us, His children, how to do godly things so we may walk in the paths that are right according to His Word. Just as I want my children to follow my instruction so they are successful, our Heavenly Father also wants to see us succeed. But in order for that to happen, we must also be willing to receive and take in the things God has to share with us. Thankfully, He loves us enough to do whatever it takes to keep us on the right path—a path that leads to Him.

Isaiah 28:26 says, “His God instructs him and teaches him the right way.” Interestingly enough, the next two verses that follow describe the methods a farmer must use to harvests a crop in order to make it into something worth eating. Here are some of the ways different crops are brought into abundant fruition:

Caraway – beaten with a rod
Cumin – beaten with a stick
Grain – must be ground

Threshing is a process of beating or separating the straw from the seed or grain of the crop, so that the farmer is able to get rid of the parts of the plant that are not useful. Verse 28 sums up the process by telling us that once the separation is completed the farmer can stop beating his crop. Sometimes, in order for us to become people worth using to spread God’s fame, we must receive discipline from Him and that doesn’t feel good. As moms, we know that to bring up a well-behaved child, we must discipline them sometimes. It is not the best part of our job, but it is necessary. God feels the same way about you and me.

In Deuteronomy 8:3, Moses tells the Israelite people, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (NIV).

We can find God’s instruction throughout the Bible. If we want to know how to make our plans succeed, we can go to His Word for answers. He is there for us just as we are there for our kids. His character is woven into every story; His wisdom etched in every line of the text. All we have to do is look.

Unfortunately, when we ignore the instruction God maps out for us in His Word, we end up having to learn through a harder path that may be much more painful. That is why having a teachable heart is so important. As I long for my children to be continually open to my instruction for their benefit, God wants us to be open to His teaching for our benefit. The farmer who continually has to thresh his crop brings about no harvest. Don’t give God a reason to keep threshing you before you make an impact for Him. Will you be willing to humble yourself and submit to all the incredible things that He has to teach you today?

Dear Lord, search my heart today and show me where pride has kept me from learning the good things You want to teach me. My desire is to have a teachable heart, so I can succeed. I know that instruction and discipline doesn’t always feel good, but my greater desire is to know You and I’m willing to go to the threshing floor if that’s what it takes to bear fruit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application Steps:

Read Psalm 25:4-10 and Psalm 32:8. Write down your answers to the following questions:

When your plans fail, what does that mean to you? It should mean that I should have trust in God's plan for me. That He will open and close doors. His plans for me are far better than mine. My problem is that my sinful, black heart gets in the way. My flesh gets the best of me and I rebel.

Does it mean your plans were wrong? Yes and I pay the price for it. My wrong doings will cause me grief and heartaches.

Does it mean that God did not bless your plans? Yes, cause it was "my" plan and not His.


What is your definition of having a teachable heart? Having an open mind and spirit. Taking self "off" and "putting "on" God.

In what areas do you struggle with being teachable? In many areas. For right now, I'm struggling with submitting and obeying.

What steps do you need to take in order to be “taught”? I need to forget about my needs and wants. I have to take the focus off of me.
Power Verses:

Proverbs 15:5, “A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.” (NIV)

Isaiah 28:26, 27-28, "His God instructs him and teaches him the right way." "Caraway is not threshed with a sledge, nor is a cartwheel rolled over cummin; caraway is beaten out with a rod,
and cummin with a stick. Grain must be ground to make bread; so one does not go on threshing it forever. Though he drives the wheels of his threshing cart over it, his horses do not grind it."

Lord, help me to die to self. To keep my eyes off of me and focus them on you. I want be the woman you want me to be, not the selfish one I am. Thank you Lord for all my sisters in the HAUS. They are AWESOME godly women who love you and are not ashamed to share what your Word says. They are wise beyond measure. Bless them tenfold.

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