Toward what end?
Just as a child of earth learns submission in stages starting with total reliance on earthly authority as a baby; the child of heaven learns submission to God through being broken of reliance on himself and the physical world around him and transferring that reliance to God.
(Psalms 27:11)”Teach me, Lord, what you want me to do, and lead me along a safe path.”
Recognize that only God can assist when we stand helpless.
Waiting certainly plays an enormous role in the unfolding story of God’s relationship to man. It is God’s oft-repeated way of teaching us that His power is real and that He can answer our prayers without interference and manipulation from us.
But we have such trouble getting our will, our time schedules out of the way. Much of the time we act like a child who brings a broken toy to his father to be mended. The father gladly takes the toy and begins work. Then after a while, childlike impatience takes over. Why is it taking so long?
The child stands by, getting his hands in the father’s way, offering a lot of meaningless advice and some silly criticism. Finally in desperation, he snatches the toy from the father’s hands and walks off with it, saying rather bitterly that he hadn’t really thought his father could fix it anyway.
Perhaps it isn’t even “his will” to mend toys.
On the other hand, whenever we are trustful enough to leave our “broken toy” with the Father, not only do we eventually get it back gloriously restored, but are also handed a surprising plus. We find for ourselves what the saints and mystics affirm, that during the dark waiting period when self-effort had ceased, a spurt of astonishing spiritual growth took place in us. Afterwards, we have qualities like more patience, more love for the Lord and those around us, more ability to hear His voice, greater willingness to obey.
(From Adventures in Prayer by Catherine Marshall)
Do you catch yourself being impatient with God? Do you think you know the best way to handle a problem? While waiting, don’t stew over your problem. Praise God for his solution to the problem. Instead of focusing on yourself and your problem, focus on God’s care for you by his training plan for you.
In earth’s schools you have teachers, textbooks, school buildings, classes, pep rallies, etc.
(Psalms 26: 1-3)Declare me innocent, O Lord, because I do what is right and trust you completely. Examine me and test me, Lord; judge my desires and thoughts. Your constant love is my guide; your faithfulness always leads me.”
Given a sincerity scale” of 1 to 10, how would you score on the Lord’s test? Why?
We see in God’s program, we have God’s love, examining, tests and faithfulness. In heaven’s training we have ministers, the Bible and other religious books, services, evangelization rallies, etc.
As on earth, there is a selection of schooling approaches, types of schools and training. There are various religions, denominations, and churches. Sometimes it’s hard to select the right “training camp” or church and remain with it. But we must remember that we are being taught by God.
(John 6: 43-45)Jesus answered, “Stop grumbling among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him to me; and I will raise him to life on the last day. The prophets wrote ‘Everyone will be taught by God.’ Anyone who hears the Father and learns from him comes to me.”
Has your familiarity with Jesus (e.g. raised on Sunday School stories) ever kept you from seeing who he really is? What can help remove the blinders?
As part of earth’s schooling we learn that we must accept authority and be able to interrelate to others or else there are penalties we must suffer.