Always Learning

Josh WannerDevotions

Psalm 86:8-11

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come
    and worship before you, O Lord,
    and shall glorify your name.
For you are great and do wondrous things;
    you alone are God.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    unite my heart to fear your name.

When I arrived, “fresh” out of Concordia Seminary, to be pastor here at Redeemer, it was not uncommon to hear me say – “I’m always learning.”  There was so much new to take in.  New office.  New co-workers. New church building. New opportunities. New responsibilities.  As I experienced new and different challenges each day, it was not hard to remember that I was a young pastor, and that I still had a “lot to learn.”

However, I am somewhat embarrassed to say that this perpetual posture of learning has begun to fade more recently.  The more I do something, the more confident I feel, and the less, I think, I have to learn.  The problem is that in life, we really can’t ever learn everything.  There is always a new experience, always something we have never encountered, always a surprise around the corner.  We are always learning – whether we are still in school, or not.  The only question is – are we paying attention?  I find that when I have a “learning posture,” I am paying attention and learning from my mistakes and even my successes.  However, when I begin to think I have it under control, I stop paying attention to the lessons God is attempting to teach me in life.

David, in Psalm 86, prays and asks God to “teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.”  The great teacher, our Heavenly Father and His Word Jesus always has something new to teach us. David himself always had more to learn.  We do to. 

Sadly, far too often we are lulled into a sense of security by thinking that we are rather “self-taught” and that we have already “graduated” from the school of life in this world.  Or, better yet, we believe that we are no longer the student, but the teacher.  We go about life with a posture of pride, rather than a heart humility.  We search inside of ourselves for answers, rather than turning to the only source of truth.

Today, may we, with David, take a posture of student, and ask God to teach us.  We want him to give us wisdom so that we are able to follow His commands, listen to His voice, and obey the voice of the great Teacher.  We do this by listening to our pastors and Christian mentors, by talking with Christian friends, and by opening God’s written word and conversing with Him through prayer.  May we all be studious disciples of the master.

Teacher, teach me your truth. May I walk in your commandments. Unite my heart to fear your name. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Written by: Pastor Koenig