How to Know You’ve Learned
Like people in Bible times, we struggle to apply what we think we have learned in the past to current challenges. How can we tell we have learned?
When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Exodus 15:23-24
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:13-14
Not much changed in people, even God’s people, from the time of Moses to the time of Jesus Christ. Not much has changed from those times until today. Don’t we struggle to apply what we think we have learned in the past to current problems and challenges?
The Israelites saw God deliver them from Egypt by a series of plagues. Then Pharaoh’s army jeopardized their exodus and pursued them. They cried to God in desperation, and God delivered them again. They rejoiced as the cadavers of their enemies washed up on the shores of the Red Sea while they watched safely. Could God deliver them from anything, repeat, anything? Yes, yes, a thousand times, YES!
But within hours they were complaining about the lack of water and then, when they found water, they complained that it was bitter. Sure enough. They had forgotten the lesson of the Red Sea.
Jesus taught the disciples that the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is a child (Matthew 18:1-3), but when little children were brought to Jesus those same disciples rebuked the parents who brought them. They forgot the lesson of the little child quickly.
Think about it
God is patient with us, slow learners and thick-headed disciples. We really don’t get it, do we? Let’s face it; we are often repeating the same foolish mistakes of the Israelites and the disciples. How many times do we need to be re-taught the same lessons of faith, patience, and prayer? How quickly we forget what He has done in the past and cave in to doubt, complaining, whining, and panic.
Trust Him to act. Call upon Him with confidence to do more than you can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20-21). Transfer what you learned before to the trials and uncertainties of today. Then you will know that you have really learned. Oh, and praise God for His patience. He has a bigger plan than we know.