Paul, Peru, Plans, and Purpose

I've been so lucky to join my Portland church on a 90 day study through the New Testament, even though I'm alllll the way out here in Nevada.  While I'm definitely missing out on the community group discussions, I feel blessed that I can still participate in the daily readings and journaling, as well as listen (albeit a week behind schedule) to the sermons online.

Currently, we are blazing through the book of Acts and I'm learning all about Paul's intensely fierce faith, despite a level of ridiculously extreme persecution that I can't even begin to fathom.

And then I came to this passage from chapter 22 when Paul tells of his initial reaction to God's calling:

19-20 “At first I objected: ‘Who has better credentials? They all know how obsessed I was with hunting out those who believed in you, beating them up in the meeting places and throwing them in jail. And when your witness Stephen was murdered, I was right there, holding the coats of the murderers and cheering them on. And now they see me totally converted. What better qualification could I have?

Here you are, trying to glorify God by using your story, your strengths - the best thing you think you have to offer - and instead He says: go...over here. 

You know, that place you had no plans of ever going to?  That thing you never thought you would do?  Yea, that's where I want you.  Forget all your plans - even if they are great and intended for My glory - and just...go.

And all I have to say is thank God Paul listened. 

God used his obedience in a tremendous way.  He brought the Gospel to the non-Jewish world.  He opened up God's word and unabashedly shared it for all - that includes you and me.  All because he was willing to ignore his better judgment and just say yes.

Can you see where I'm going with this?


Vanessa's Dad said…
This shows that if you seek to know and do God's will, He will bless that... answer that... show you His will, even if He has to hit you upside the head with a heavenly 2 X 4 of bright light and blindness. Paul was killing Christians, but he was doing that because he thought it was God's will. Paul wanted to do God's will.

Knowing that, I can worry less about whether I'm doing the right thing. As long as I'm trying to seek and do His will, He will make it right.

We studied the life of Paul last year in Bible Study Fellowship. One thing that really came to life for me was that in addition to ministry, writing the letters, and moving all over the place, he also made a living as a tent maker. His days must have been sooooo long. I love you