Un-Learning the Things of the World

Recently I read a marvelous statement by twentieth-century theologian and pastor Oswald Chambers: “It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials. Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us to unlearn something” (emphasis mine).

What an interesting perspective on facing hardships, bereavement, and uncertainty in life. Selah.

No matter what age in life we decided to serve Jesus Christ as Lord, whether young or old, we have all acquired a bit of residue from the broken world we live in. And it is God’s desire to strip us of this unnecessary and weighty residue.

Let’s “unlearn” the ways of this world. If the Lord chooses to re-adjust our career and we earn less money, yes, it may seem unfortunate. But let me suggest that perhaps, then, we needed to “unlearn” our faith in money. Or if the Lord decides to move a relationship out of our lives, yes, it will be painful. But again, perhaps it was time to “unlearn” what the world says will make us happy.

Life ought to be uncomplicated, and it really can be. If we live by God’s standards of loving Him and seeking His Kingdom foremost, and then honoring and serving our neighbor, we will find joy, peace, quality of life, and simplicity. For instance, when someone wrongs you, forgive him. Simple. If someone is in prison, visit her. Simple. If you have an enemy, pray for him. Simple.

It’s our human nature that tends to make things complicated. Our experiences in this world, or the residue of this world, all too often affect our decisions and attitudes, and we come up with well-thought-out conditions for obeying God’s Word instead of trusting unwaveringly in His promise.

Friends, perhaps Oswald Chambers is right. Perhaps it’s time we unlearn the ways of this world. Maybe we should recognize loss, fear, and uncertainty as opportunities to unlearn the baggage of the world. Our faith and peace derive wholly from God, and He desires we put our faith, even blind faith, in Him entirely – not in a person, not in money, not in power, not in a circumstance.

Teach us, Jesus, to forget what the world has taught us to put our hope in. Help us to unlearn faith in the idols of self, money, romance, and the American Dream. Guide us into forgetting to put confidence in ourselves, that we may put all our confidence in You only.

Until next time,
P.S. Thank you for remembering me in your prayers. Life post-transition here to Johnstown is still crazy.. and maybe crazy is the new normal! Since our team has assembled to launch from Ground Zero a much-needed Spirit-empowered church and God-influence in the area, most of us are going to be bi-vocational. I am still on the hunt for a job that complements the ministry we’ll be doing. Please pray much for me. I am nothing without Him.

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