I am one of those people who learn by watching. If I can see someone do it, then I can learn it. If I have to read directions to figure it out…then forget it.
For instance, my husband picked up a little book on how to make paper airplanes for our son. There are intricate directions, folded lines, straight lines, arrows and other types of visual aids that are supposed to take the person reading successfully through all the steps of making a paper airplane. Not me. I will attempt it. I will fold on dotted line…cut on the solid one. I’ll do anything and everything to that darn piece of paper but it will not end up looking like an airplane. I simply do not learn that way. I want to take the book and throw it out the window!
Now if someone said “here, watch” and they proceeded to make the airplane, I would get it. That goes for the computer, gardening, putting gadgets together, taking them apart…it doesn’t matter what it is…that is how I learn.
One morning this week while I was in my prayer time, I heard the Lord’s whisper. His voice was quite clear and it brought revelation to me. Here is what He said, “I am not your earthly parents. Do not be afraid to ask things of me. And when you do ask, do not doubt that I will do it.”
This startled me. I thought I had been asking things of the Lord, especially when I knew the thing that I asked of Him was His plan and/or the direction He was leading my family and I in. I did not realize I was expecting the same treatment as I received from my earthly parents.
When I was a child, I dare not ask anything of my mother. My parents divorced when I was five and I lived primarily with my mother. I have very few memories of that time of my life. When my grandmother was alive, she shared things with me, things that would explain the holes that make up most of my childhood. I do not know why, but I carried the belief that I should never ask for anything.
When I moved in with my father and stepmother the summer before I started high school, I carried that belief with me. My dad and my step mom never did anything to reinforce that belief, although they did not realize what I was doing. This carried on through college. My father did not want me working while I was in school, but I had no money. I did not feel “safe” enough to ask them for money for toothpaste or shampoo. I gave blood every six weeks to get $20 for my very basic of needs. I do not fault them. Their oldest child was five years old when suddenly they took on two teenagers. They simply did not know and apologized to me, with great sadness, much later in life.
I never realized that I was “afraid” to ask the Lord for anything…and when I did ask, I would make excuses for why He might not answer my prayers. Not only that, I would console myself, making ready for that inevitable “no.”
Without conscience effort, I took my Lord, the most powerful, awesome, glorious, holy, perfect, all knowing Maker of the universe and I personified Him. I put clothes on Him. I combed His hair. I put shoes on his feet and I looked upon Him as I would any other man. I doubted His love for me. I doubted His protection. I doubted His wisdom and His perfect plan for my life.
Now that I have revelation…how do I fix a behavior that has been reinforced over a long period of time?
Well, if you are me, you watch and you listen.
On Friday I get to pray with some great people, I am going to listen to how they pray, and then we will talk about their attitude and expectations. I know this sounds strange to some of you. I mean, who needs to be shown how to pray?
I can quote the Lord’s Prayer. I can tell you what each line signifies. I can tell you about practical application. But…I have never been shown. God created me. He knows my heart. He loves me enough to correct me, to show me the error of my ways. Shouldn’t I be humble enough to do what it takes to press in closer to Him?
How do you learn? How does your learning style affect your walk with the Lord? Can you ask for help when you need it…or does pride stand in your way?