The Spirit Discipline

JOHN 16:12–16

We can only handle spiritual truth in small doses. Too much truth too soon ends up gathering cobwebs in a dusty attic of our hearts. Or, if our knowledge exceeds our competence, then we may end up doing or saying things which are hurtful or even destructive to ourselves and others.

Four years of college and three years of seminary filled me to the brim with information. But somewhere along the way I had the sense of drinking concentrated orange juice straight from the can. It began to feel thick and sweet and seemed to sour my spiritual stomach. I needed the experiences of life to put in the mix before all that knowledge was diluted to the right strength. There is a term to describe pastors as we graduate from seminary with a head full of knowledge and steam out to fix the church—seminaritus.

Teachers who pass on too much knowledge also contribute to the problem. Jesus is not one of those teachers. He knew just how much his disciples could handle, and that is as much as he taught. As you read today’s verses, remember that the disciples were under extreme emotional duress. Jesus was going away. Tenderly and wisely, he tells them that there is more they need to know, but not today. The Spirit will continue the work in the future. The Lord still handles us in the same way. Little by little, he teaches us just what we need to know to face the struggles of the day.


The Holy Spirit is your present teacher. Ask the Lord to make you ready to hear what the Spirit wants to teach you. Write out a prayer of openness. Then sit for a while cultivating a listening heart before you go on with the study in today’s quiet time.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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