Aug 24, 2017 7:07 AM
There were a few more leaves fallen on my on my lawn this morning, yellow, crisp and scattered among green walnuts. It is that time again. Time for school.
Teachers are organizing their gathered tips, training and materials for their classrooms with expectation and fresh energy. Teachers are never done learning and polishing their craft to benefit as many students as possible. With this in mind, I want to encourage you that as Christian teachers, and this includes homeschool moms, you have another resource at hand: God’s gifting.
You are a teacher not because a piece of paper says so. You are a teacher because God has given you the gift of teaching. And this gift will enable your success.
In Ephesians 4, Paul is reminding Christians to live a life worthy of their calling. It is a calling we have received. “...I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (NIV) In the next two verses, we are told how to walk this out in day to day terms. We are told that in God there is unity. But “to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” The Living Bible interprets grace as special abilities. And these abilities are different.
Paul continues by quoting a portion of Psalms 68. “When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Ephesians 4:8) It refers to Jesus after His resurrection and his triumph over those things that had held man in bondage. Psalm 68, however, begins by quoting Numbers. It repeats Moses’ prayer when the Israelites started out and the Levites carried the ark. “Rise up, O Lord! May your enemies be scattered...” (Numbers 10:35 NIV) In the same way, the Psalmist begins and recounts God’s faithfulness and victory over His enemies.
Why would Paul insert this into a conversation about God handing out special abilities to His people?
Before we answer that, consider what he says the abilities are for. They are to build the body of Christ, both by number and strength of spirit and knowledge of God. Thus, the application is outward and inward. The gifts are inter-related, running back and forth through the list, feeding and being fed by each other. Ours may not be the rock-star classification in ministry. But, it is our job to take apart and order, and bring the information in measurable steps to our charges that they may assemble the whole in their minds. It is our job to speak truth in love so that we strengthen our learners to stand in the day of buffeting winds of various philosophies that are set against God. Paul would have no Timothy if it weren’t for his mother and grandmother who taught him. (2Timothy 1:5)
So— back to our question. What does a prayer about God scattering enemies spoken by Levites carrying the ark have to do with teaching, preaching, apostling and the rest? Why do we need to know Jesus defeated everything that could keep men captive? Because Satan doesn’t act like he lost, and sometimes we don’t act like we know he did.
Here is what I mean. Our teaching environment can be a spiritual battleground. We struggle with a variety of roadblocks that apply pressure from the outside (family issues, distractions, etc.) or emanate from the inside (disabilities, self-image, etc.). We try to manage these, but God wants to let us know that He is able to scatter the enemies creating these roadblocks. God is with us, not in the symbolism of the ark, the God in the box idea, but in our hearts. He is present to whisper wisdom to us, share His creativity with us and guide us to take our students where He wants them to be. We carry Him with us into the classroom, and His presence is able to permeate our classroom environment. Allow His peace to reign, in you and your teaching atmosphere.
Remember, it is He who has gifted and enabled you to do what He has called you to do.
If you would like a free download of Scriptures to tuck into your lesson planner click here.
Image by of Poodar Chu courtesy of StockSnapi.o