Learn to Do, or Do to Learn?

I had warned him! I had told my friend that I had never played golf before, but he insisted that I join him for a round of 18 holes at a local high-class golf course. By the second hole, and after the numerous groups we had let bypass us, he knew he had made a mistake! I should have had some training on a driving range before attempting an 18 hole course.

Often in life, this is the way it is. We must learn to do something before we can begin to do it. We must have knowledge of the thing before we can perform it. But this is not the way it always is with God. Many times God calls us, not to “learn to do,” but to “do to learn.”In 2 Peter 1:1 we read of the “like precious faith” that we have obtained in Christ. We then read a list of things beginning in verse 5 that we are to add to our faith. It is interesting to note that God begins with faith– believing Him, trusting Him, looking unto Him. We are saved by faith. We walk by faith, live by faith.The first thing in the list to add to our faith is virtue. This word virtue here actually means “valor” or “courage.” Then the next item in the list is knowledge. Isn’t it interesting that God does not list knowledge first, but faith and courage?When God told Abraham to leave his homeland and journey out, He did not tell him anything! The only knowledge given to Abraham was to “go,” and in Hebrews 11 we read that he simply obeyed what God said and, “went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise…” God expected Abraham to “do to learn.” He had to step out in obedience, though I’m sure he would have liked more knowledge about God’s plan! Abraham passed the test and was truly blessed as God led Him.Many Christians are hindered from obeying God because they feel an ineptness, or inadequacy in it. They feel they cannot do this thing because they do not know how. They have never learned. There are others more knowledgeable and much better at it. We must realize that when we obey the clear calling of God in an area, He will do the equipping. He will give the knowledge we need to do the job in His own timing. This is the way He works. And in this, He gets the glory. Verse 8 warns us that it is possible for a child of God to be “barren” and “unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jeus Christ.” A spirit of fear and unbelief will lead to this dreadful testimony.

What work has He called you to? Whatever it is, don’t allow lack of knowledge or inexperience to discourage you. By faith, obey God in whatever He tells you to do, being willing to learn and having a teachable spirit. And then watch as He teaches you. Let’s learn to “do to learn!”