The story so far…
- Acts 7: Stephen the martyr
- Acts 8: The persecution of the Church, but the advancement of the Gospel
The Apostle Paul is a major part of the New Testament.
In fact of the 27 books, it is thought that Paul wrote, or significantly contributed to, 13 or 14 of them. He pioneered churches, preached the gospel and advanced Gods purposes across many nations. But over the past two days (Acts 7 and 8) we have been introduced to Paul, as Saul. The man who was persecuting the Church. But today everything changes!
Reading: Acts 9
In the beginning we see Saul planning further devastation to the Church. He wanted to do whatever he could to cease the advancement of the Gospel. Yet by the time verse 28 rolls around, he’s preaching boldly about the truth and power of Jesus Christ!
What a turnaround! What a testimony! What a triumph!
Don’t ever feel like a situation is beyond redemption. If God can turn a persecutor into a preacher in just a few days, then there’s no limits to the new levels that he can bring about in your life.
Let’s just focus for a moment on the initial encounter Saul had.
Having hit the ground when he met with Gods presence, verse 8 says:
Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
God was about to take Saul to a New Level.
In his future was a new season, a new purpose and a new identity, but before he could step up to a new level, he lost his sight.
I don’t know if you’ve ever lost your sight, even temporarily. Maybe you lost your glasses or you damaged your eyes, or even something stupid like you got shampoo in your eyes and just for a moment, you lost your ability to see.
When this happens you have to learn to depend on something else. Maybe it’s just a dependance on your other senses to guide you, or perhaps a dependence on a person to help assist you.
In a time where Saul was about to step into a new season of faith, he had to learn to depend on God. He had to learn to trust.
He had to learn the lesson, that he would later try to teach the Church in Corinth to “live by faith and not by sight”. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Maybe you can’t see a clear way forward in what you’re facing today. Allow this situation or season to make you learn to trust and depend on God as your only source and strength.
Contributed by Ps Ben