Acts 9:1-20; Psalm 30; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19
“If God would just tell me what to do, I would do it.” You’ve probably heard someone say it. You may have even said it yourself. It would be so nice and comforting if we could just hear that voice of God come out of the sky telling us what He wants us to do. One of the problems we have in life is that we don’t always get that clear direction. Usually, God’s will is found in the process of living and seeking Him daily, not in some magnificent experience.
Take the example of Saul/Paul. Saul was in the process of persecuting Christians and was headed towards Damascus to arrest a bunch more. Then, Saul saw the light. Literally. We have taken his experience and will talk about people seeing the light in a figurative sense. Saul saw the light and was knocked to the ground. He heard a heavenly voice asking him why he was persecuting Him. “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:5-6) Think about it. God could have laid out the whole plan then and there. He could have given Saul a step by step itinerary all the way to his beheading. He could have even said, “I want you to go to the Gentiles.” But He didn’t.
Saul was forced to abandon his independence and allow others to lead him around. That was a blow to Saul’s pride. Then, God also told him that someone else would be telling him what to do. Saul was blind and lost his appetite for three days. Three days, interesting, hmmm? God had to strip Saul of any sort of pride and make him fully dependent on God. God used the traveling companions, who had no idea what was going on. He used a faithful Christian who had to deal with his own feelings about Saul before he would minister to him.
Ananias went to Saul and touched him while stating that God’s purpose was to fill him with the Holy Spirit. I imagine Ananias mentioned God’s plan to Saul in their discussions. Saul (who wasn’t called Paul yet) had to be stripped of his old ways. He had to lose his pride. He had to become completely dependent on God in order to make him fit for service in which he would need to be completely dependent upon God. When difficulties come and all we have left to depend on is God, perhaps we need to understand that God could be preparing us for a special form of service. We need to become completely dependent on Him every day.
Lord God, my pride makes me want to do things myself, in my own way. I think I know best how to serve You. I’m usually willing to let You know my feelings to. Help me to repent of that sinful attitude and learn to depend on You for everything.