No Degree Required

My, Devotion to Him #74

VERSE PASSAGE: Luke 1:80 “And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.” – NIV
This is the final devotional in regards to John the Baptist. We’ve read about John in “You Have Purpose”, “Will You Answer The Call?”, “Jesus Is The Spotlight Not You”, and “Jesus Increase As I Decrease”. John had the most important job assignment ever given to any mortal in the history of the world. He was to prepare the way for the coming of the long awaited Messiah. Which was no small feat either. 
VERSE PASSAGE: Luke 1:76-77 “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,” – NIV
How did the Lord prepare John for such an important task? What college could teach him all he needed to know? What type of degree did John receive in order to do such an amazing ministry. Who offered a course in becoming the greatest prophet who ever lived? Of course, no one could prepare John for such an important position, so the Lord taught him personally. John was in the deserts until he was thirty years old. He was taught directly by the Lord through the Holy Spirit. 
John did not go to college! John did not receive a bachelors or masters in theology, ministry, biblical studies. John learned from the Holy Spirit. God did not tell John “to be used by Me, you must attend college for four years and then come back when you get a degree and then I will use you to Minister.” John was taught by the Holy Spirit. He learned directly by the Holy Spirit.  
The personal touch of the Lord became very obvious. Six months after John began his ministry, a whole nation was stirred up. An anticipation of the coming of Christ. When Jesus came, the Jews wondered how he could know things he was never taught.
VERSE PASSAGE: John 7:15 “The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?” – NIV 

The Jews were baffled because Jesus has not been “properly” taught. Of course this was from man’s standards. 
There is special knowledge which comes directly from the Lord through the Holy Spirit which is available to every believer. It’s a part of the new covenant.
VERSE PASSAGE: Hebrews 8:11 “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” – NIV
The Holy Spirit has been sent to be our teacher, but we have to show up at class and expect to receive that which we can be taught. 
VERSE PASSAGE: John 14:26 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” – NIV
VERSE PASSAGE: John 16:13-15 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” NIV
There is a problem going on right now. The problem is the church is more worried about a person having a degree than being Spirit led! The church would rather have someone who has a bachelors or masters in all this biblical study than someone who has been taught by the Holy Spirit. Now, I’m not saying this is the whole church. But! This is a serious problem that needs to be talked about.
John was called the greatest person who ever lived by Jesus Himself. Yet, John has no “proper” training by man. He was taught and led by the Spirit. I’m not saying that getting a degree is bad. I am saying that the church needs to stop making it’s such a priority and start focusing on if that person is led by the Spirit. I believe there is much that could be learned by getting a degree. However, John was the greatest prophet to ever live. This was the man who prepared the way of our Lord Jesus Christ. God does not require you to have a degree to be used by God! Do not let man’s standards detour you from your call! Do not let man’s standards keep you from answering the call. You have purpose. It’s time for us to lean on the Spirit of God and let Him guide, teach, and direct us through His glorious plan for us.
Copyright © 2017 by Jacob D. Olinger

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