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Learning a New Language

If there is anything I wish I could go back and do again, it would be to have learned to speak Spanish in high school and college. I’ve learned enough to fulfill my language requirements for all my degrees, but not to speak it. I’ve tried to convince my children not to make my same mistake, but to no avail. They, like me at their age are busy with the extra curricular and don’t think they have time to devote to learning a foreign language.

When I go on mission trips I limp along with my little knowledge of Spanish,but there’s another language that I’ve mastered a little better.I’ve discovered that learning to walk in the Spirit is like learning anew language. The Holy Spirit doesn’t hold back. He is constantly speakingto us. The only problem is that we can’t understand His message very clearly.We only get half of it. The Holy Spirit knows who He is working with though,and He doesn’t give up on us.

I’m not in bad company in that I can’t understand everything Godis trying to teach me through the Holy Spirit. Over and over in the Gospels thewriters recall the disciples didn’t understand. They often didn’tunderstand even after they asked a direct question and Jesus gave them a directanswer. It was okay; Jesus knew that they would get it later, and they did.

God knows that we can’t receive all it is that He wants to tell us. Hedoesn’t expose everything to us because we can’t handle it. He onlypours out what we can hold. He is very gracious to us in that way.

Other times God uses people to help us know what He is trying to say. It’sinteresting hat in the books of Judges God is willing to use Gideon’s enemyto strengthen his faith and to help him believe what God was saying to him. Godtold Gideon what He was going to do to the Midianites, but it wasn’t untilGideon went into the Midianite camp and heard what the soldiers were saying abouthim that he believed in Judges 7:13-15. Gideon arrived just as a man wastelling a friend his dream. I had a dream, he was saying. A round loaf of barleybread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such forcethat the tent overturned and collapsed. His friend responded, This can be nothingother than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given theMidianites and the whole camp into his hands. When Gideon heard the dream andits interpretation, he worshipped God. He returned to the camp of Israel andcalled out, "Get up!" The Lord has given the Midianite camp into yourhands. Sometimes we can’t hear in our heart, even when we know Godhas spoken to us. God is willing to use other means to really get our attention.He doesn’t give up. He knows we are not very good at Spirit language.

You will get better if you train your spirit to listen to God. You train throughprayer (which involves speaking and listening) and reading God’s Word.You train through opening your eyes to the truths He is trying to teach you everyday. How is your spiritual language school going?



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