The actual process of getting and receiving lessons can be quite gratifying in itself. When they go well, you can see noticeable improvement. But, regardless of the context, the lessons themselves are never the goal of course – they are just a means to an end – a mechanism by which we can better achieve our potential in a given context.
I have met people before that have told me they would be “career students” if they could. I used to think that was a noble, intelligent statement and maybe even think I should be so noble as to aspire to the same. But,the reality is learning is a place of consumption. It builds us up – just as does eating. And there are times and places in our lives where it is time to be built up – to consume. Just as there are times in our day-to-day routines when we eat. But there are also other times when we work. If we eat more than we work, we become out of shape. Of course, it is also possible to work more than we eat and become emaciated. Our hunger is supposed to urge our work and our work is supposed to supply our hunger.
We will be judged by our production, not by our consumption. Consumption is about what comes into you and production is about what comes out of you. “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” (Matt 15:11) We will be judged by what comes out of our mouth, not by what goes in it. The reason “career students” value consumption over production is because they do not believe they can produce. They are diligent about learning, but lazy about action.
Our identity as the righteous of God in Christ is meant to embolden us to step forth onto the field. Proverbs 26:13 says “The lazy man says ‘There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!’” But, as a believer, YOU are supposed to be that lion in the streets! The Word of God says: “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Prov. 28:1)
Teddy Roosevelt said it was the cold, timid soul that never knew the taste of victory nor defeat. Laziness is a lack of action. A lack of action is caused by timidity. But this timidity is not from God. We know as believers that “we have not been given a Spirit of Timidity, but of POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND MIND!” (2 Tim. 1:7, emphasizes mine)
The Enemy is opposed to our increase. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy . . . and he needs you to look the other way to do it. He cannot win if you take the field. But if you abdicate your land, your responsibility, your authority, he can take from you what is yours. And if you back down from the calling of God on your life, you will not walk into what the Father has prepared for you.
The Enemy wants to keep people “in the classroom” and off the field. When we think of ourselves as unrighteous, we avoid action – trying to make ourselves right first. Our level of condemnation (sin consciousness) will determine our level of intimidation. Sin leads to condemnation and condemnation to timidity. And timidity leads to robbery from the Enemy. But the Bible says “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:” (Heb 10:35-36) “‘Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” (Heb. 10:38-39)
Don’t shrink back! Allow learning to lead to action. Consume then produce!