“What is God’s lesson plan for you today?”

The question came from my mentor, our former high school principle, and it became the basis for many of our conversations together. It’s a startling question for several reasons.

First, as a high school Bible teacher, I am inundated with this idea: daily lesson plans and weekly lesson plans, curricular topics for the semester, curricular topics for the year. It seems as if my whole job is focused in some way around lesson plans: Are they realistic? Am I covering too much, too little? Do they provoke, stimulate? Do they invite participation, even action? But when the question gets turned on me, it’s a totally different feel. Now I am the one in class, and God is teaching me today.

Second, as a teacher, I am in control of my class and the learning process, and I need to be. But now with this question, I am no longer in control. It is Jesus controlling the learning process, the master teacher and coach, who knows my heart and is scripting my story. To let go of control here requires willingness and surrender. If my students aren’t willing to learn, they won’t. It’s the same with Jesus. To be His disciple just means to be His student. And the willingness to learn comes out of that surrender. But after this decision is made, there is solid comfort. I am His student now. My job is just to get close enough to Him each day to hear His lesson plan for me.

Third, God will use, not just the Scriptures, but everything in our lives to teach us, if (and a big if) we have our ears attuned. My students in class can easily be distracted: playing with iPads, looking out the window, daydreaming about the weekend. I can become frustrated by their inattentiveness, missing the lesson, but we do it with God all the time. He really is trying to teach us every day through His Holy Spirit if we will but listen (see John 14:26).

Finally, God’s lesson plan is a curriculum devised not for our head knowledge, but for our heart experience. He wants to bring our hearts to Him so we can receive His joy, and in so doing, receive Him. He wants our hearts to become His home.

So go ahead, ask it: What is God’s lesson plan for me today? And keep asking it until He answers.

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