Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 032 Teachability
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #032 – Teachability
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you today to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
Welcome back to the podcast this week. Do you know what is heavy on my mind right now?
I love learning!
As our 2020-2021 school year will begin soon, and I am preparing our classroom and studies, I am incredibly thankful to have the freedom to teach my children at home. What a joy homeschool has been for our family!
One of the goals I set when I began teaching my children, and one that all parents should have, whether they homeschool or not (in my opinion), is to instill a love of learning.
I want my children to adore learning and to have curious minds that study many topics. I also want them to seek the truth of God in each.
That desire leads me to the topic of our podcast this week. Teachability. The openness we carry for learning affects everything in our life.
Let me ask you a couple of questions. How open are you to learning new things? How open are you to making mistakes?
For most people, the first question is probably much easier than the second.
Yet, you can’t have one without the other.
This is one of the lessons I have repeatedly taught my children – and myself.
When I was younger, I never wanted to make mistakes. But as I matured and grew my confidence in and through the Lord, I realized that I didn’t have to fear mistakes. I should embrace them. They don’t define me. Mistakes define how I am progressing. They prove I am a changing and growing human.
Just as we are meant to be.
This week, I was thinking of a Biblical character who was forced to learn through a very difficult method.
It’s a longer set of verses, but right now, I’m going to read from the book of Daniel – Chapter 4:1-37.
To the nations and peoples of every language, who live in all the earth:
May you prosper greatly!
It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.
How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;
his dominion endures from generation to generation.
I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me. So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me. When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me. Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)
I said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me. These are the visions I saw while lying in bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the wild animals found shelter, and the birds lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed.
“In the visions I saw while lying in bed, I looked, and there before me was a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven. He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field.
“ ‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him.
“ ‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’
“This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.” Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him. So the king said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you.”
Belteshazzar answered, “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries! The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth, with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the wild animals, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds— our Majesty, you are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.
“Your Majesty saw a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live with the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’
“This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”
All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: “What have you done?”
At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”
What methods God had to use to ensure that King Nebuchadnezzar was teachable!
King Nebuchadnezzar had proven that he was one of the most arrogant leaders the world had held. God knew the pride living and growing in the king’s heart had to dealt with in the only ways that would personally work for him.
Just like He has to do with every one of us.
Each of us has moments in which we are anything but pliable and ready for God to use us.
Each one of us has been resistant to learning at times and remained stuck where we were.
Oh, God, may our hearts and minds be pliant and open to you. May our spirit bend to Your will, instead of our own.
In the verses we read, God gave the stubborn and prideful King Nebuchadnezzar a vision of a huge tree that had been chopped down by an angel. Who do you think the tree represented? That’s right. The King.
God removed the king from his high position and sent him into the wilderness where he would live as an animal. He ate like all the other animals, his nails grew long and he lived in the dirt and wilderness as an animal.
How long did he dwell there? Until the former king was humbled and God knew he had learned to submit to Him.
The discipline God chose worked.
When the beastly former king returned to the palace and his position, he was a changed man. No longer did he believe he was greatest, but now realized his position and greatness was God-ordained and given to him. He wanted to honor God instead of himself. The king became teachable.
King Nebuchadnezzar praised God and acknowledged the sovereignty of the Lord. His sanity was returned, along with honor, splendor, and his reign. Advisors and nobles sought the king and he was even greater than before.
King Nebuchadnezzar was a changed man. Humbled, he praised, exalted, and glorified God, proclaiming that He alone is right and just.
Lord, may we give you proper glory and honor without the hard lessons. Help us to honor and exalt you because our hearts are willingly softened toward You and Your ways. May we please you and give you joy.
What are the lessons from this story that we can grasp and hold in our hearts?
1. Live humbly. Recognize that all we have comes from God.
2. Express genuine gratitude for what we do and don’t possess.
3. Trust God and His timing.
4. Seek to live in ways that honor, please, and glorify God.
5. Allow God to change and grow us with experiences and situations that stretch us.
6. View life with an eternal perspective that includes God and others.
God sees directly into our heart. He knows our reasons for each word, thought, and action we have. Seek Him when you awaken, throughout each day, and every night, allowing Him to guide your purposes and behavior in ways that honor Him and attract others to the light only He can place inside us.
How do we develop such a love for God?
When we are His and seek to know Him better, we will.
1. Crave Him more than earthly treasures and accolades.
2. Apologize when you have wronged another, even when it is slightly. What we do and say matters greatly to others and to God.
3. Read His word and seek to continue deepening your understanding and relationship.
4. Admit mistakes and keep learning and growing daily.
5. Intentionally influence others by the way you live. Allow them to see your strong and growing connection to Jesus. When they see the difference He makes in your life and understand that He can do the same for them, their eternity is altered.
6. Desire godly change.
Father, thank you for allowing us to draw nearer to you and bring others with us by the work You do in and through us. God help each of us crave You more than before, beginning this moment. Help us to seek You in new ways that enlighten us to Your heart. May we honor You with all we are and bring You exceeding joy. Help us to be teachable in Your desires, and influence others to be the same, in this world that does not realize how greatly we thirst for You. Please change that, God, by changing us. Amen.
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