People of Promise 94 Heart’s Desire

After Jesus confronts Saul (Paul) on the road, and asks why Saul is persecuting Him, He goes on to say, But arise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, that I might appoint you to serve as [My] minister and to bear witness both to what you have seen of Me and to that in which I will appear to you, Choosing you out [selecting you for Myself] and delivering you from among this [Jewish] people and the Gentiles to whom I am sending you—To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me (Acts 26:16-18). That’s some appointment. But in this address to Saul, we see some very important promises to us, also.

First, when God calls you, pay attention to precisely what He says. And then do it. Paul did exactly that, and as a consequence, set the stage for the whole world to be exposed to the truth of God’s Word. God ‘s call upon one’s life is not only a positive thing, but it is backed by the promise of the fullness of His Spirit (Eph. 1:19-20). This means that whatever God asks you to do, you can do with His leading and power to back you. However, just because He will back you 100 percent doesn’t mean that you will necessarily rely on Him 100 percent. That’s the rub, and that’s where faith comes in. We need to stick to our appointed task with absolute trust in the One Who has appointed us, even when it looks like what He asked us to do is not going so well. Paul is our prime example of an ordinary person reborn in Christ who relied 100 percent on God’s plan for his life. He could in all honesty and truth write, Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah) (1Cor. 11:1). Paul relied 100 percent on the teachings and actions of our Supreme Paradigm, Jesus.

Such faith is not something that comes at the snap of one’s fingers. Remember, Paul was tutored directly by Jesus for a very, very specific task: taking the Gospel to the Gentiles (the non-Jewish nations) (1Cor. 11:23). In fact, Jesus has told the disciples that this would happen, But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth (Acts 1:8). Jesus came first to the Jews because they were specifically called to be God’s emissaries to the world (Ex. 19:6), and it was from them that the Messiah would arise (Rom. 15:8). But it was God’s plan that all humanity should be able to call upon the Messiah’s saving act on the cross (Act 11:18) because God wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly] to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine] Truth (1Tim. 2:4).

Well, you ask, if we don’t have Jesus’ personal instruction like Paul had, how can we be expected to do what God asks. Ah, that’s the beauty of the written Word. The Bible is not just a collection of writing by a bunch of guys that set out to form a new religion. No, Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action) (2Tim. 3:16). God had the Bible prepared for us So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work (2Tim. 3:17). Thoroughly equipped, but only if we are willing to take the necessary time to work on the old RSMMA (Read, Study, Meditate, Memorize, Act). I know, I sound like a broken record, but honestly, that’s why we were given the Scriptures, and why we need to Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth (2Tim. 2:15).

And as we build our RSSMA, our absolute trust in God is re-enforced and grows. You see, faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself) (Rom. 10:17). And as we dig deeper and grow in our understandings, God is able to assign new tasks to us. Not necessarily tasks that will give us more exposure before men, not necessarily tasks that we might feel are “more important” to the Kingdom, but tasks that require us to grow and develop so that we are more fully equipped to become all that God wants us to be. Any task that God asks us to do is an important one, whether we think so or not. Never turn your back on a task that He asks you to do, no matter how seeming insignificant it is in your eyes. If God ask you to do it, it must be important to Him, and that’s what really counts.

And, I might note, that as we grow our RSSMA and move from task to task, God’s continual blessings flow freely to us. Not money, stop it now. “Blessings” don’t mean cash. They mean anything that God pours into our lives to increase our equipping to be all He intends, and do all He intends. It might be something so simple as a better ability to see the truth of His Word, or maybe the granting of a prayer for someone’s salvation, or a new job where our talents are more fully used, etc. Large or small, all His blessings are aimed at helping us to become more like Christ—and after all, isn’t that what we want in the very depths of our being (Ps. 37:4)?

 

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