“He will teach you all things…” John 14:26
Several years ago my husband took us to France for our wedding anniversary, a life-long dream. Six months or so before we were to leave, I ordered audio French lessons by Michel Thomas. When they arrived, with great trepidation, I inserted the first CD into the car player. Seems a bit dramatic, but I can still remember tightening my hands on the steering wheel as my whole body tensed. I hadn’t been in school for a very long time, and all I had was an insatiable desire and a persistent motivation that I later realized was His calling.
Michel Thomas introduced himself as the teacher. In essence, he began to explain his “rules” for learning French. To begin with, I was to be relaxed (yikes!), to shake off any form of tension or anxiety, and not even try to remember because
“any form of tension inhibits any true and effective learning.”
What he said next stunned me because it was so counter to what I had anticipated and believed.
“The responsibility is in the teaching
and with the teacher and not with the learner.”
That was a life-changing statement, a spiritual reality that has continued to be wrung out in my life. He then went on to say that since there were two students with him on the CD, I was to be the third student in his classroom, listening and learning together.
I began to loosen my grip on the steering wheel and shrugged my shoulders to relax, but as what he said began to sink in, I paused the player to take it in. Almost immediately I went from French lessons to the Holy Spirit and the spiritual truth He was unfolding.
It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to teach me, not my trying, fretting or striving to cause me to learn. It is my responsibility as I surrender to Him, my Teacher, to listen to and follow Him, to rest trustingly in Him believing that He will accomplish all He wants to teach me (Philippians 2:13 NKJV). What a lesson and a relief.
Michel’s second “rule” was a picture to me of His Body – real church, those who are also committed to His will and Lordship, helping each other hear and learn and assimilate His teaching and walk in His ways. Two or more gathered together with a single eye on Him and one purpose: His will.
I couldn’t wait to tell my spiritual mom and teacher what the Holy Spirit had revealed through my very first French lesson! She loved it as much as I did. As I am learning this rich lesson, fresh and new every day, it has become an adventure I share with a precious Body that He is knitting ever closer together for His purposes.
And, yes, I went to France and spoke French. Twice!
But that’s another story . . .