The Apostle Paul might have figured pretty early on that he was going to be the one sent to bring the knowledge of Christ to the Jews. It seems fitting, right? He knew them, he understood them, he spoke their cultural language, he knew the law backwards and front, & up until fairly recently at that point he WAS one of them, and best of all, he knew that he could PROVE the Messianic reality of Christ for the Jews using the Law, the Scriptures. And yet, even with all that, in Acts 22:21, we read how the Lord effectively tells Paul, “Go pound sand with all that noise”. “Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles”. It’s as if the Lord had said, “All of your experience, your decades of preparation in your former life earned in your own strength? Meaningless. I’m sending you to a place where you HAVE to depend on Me. I’m sending you on a journey that will REQUIRE you to lean on ME and not yourself. I am going to teach you to rely not on your own sufficiency but on MY sufficiency”. It’s likely that if Paul’s mission field were the Jews, given all of his life experiences, all his “preparation” in aid of evangelizing them, that he may have found himself constantly patting himself on the back with the successes he may have had. “Where’s Paul?”. “Oh he’s recovering from an arm injury after patting himself on the back so hard.”. Who’s to say? But talk about a 180 degree change in direction from his expectation!
And that’s the point I want us to see today. How many of us have found ourselves in a similar spot with the Lord? Even the secular world experiences that. How many times have you heard, or perhaps you’ve experienced this for yourself, where your education didn’t match your vocation. You were a history major in college but now you work in social services. You studied Psychology but now you work in Finance. You were a Journeyman Drywaller but now run a restaurant. It’s really common actually. But in the context of our Christian lives, how many times have we seen that reality in our own journeys? I can’t speak for you of course but even in my own life, the Lord had spoken a word over my life in the late 90’s. It wasn’t until 23 years later that I began to walk in what He called me to, vocationally speaking, where what He said over me began to become a reality. I was consumed, obsessed, with what God was going to do with my life in the future. “What’s my calling?” I would ask. Over and over. Ad nauseum. One day I had come to the realization that what I *HAD* been doing was what the Lord had called me to. At that moment. And that day. And every single day. So, let this be an encouragement: if you face that today, just know this: that wherever you are, right this moment, that’s right where the Lord has called you. You are where you are right now for a PURPOSE. “Ok, so what’s my purpose?” you might ask. If you’re a believer, then your purpose is to KNOW HIM and to be TRANSFORMED INTO HIS LIKENESS. And in wherever the Lord has you, KNOWING HIM and being TRANSFORMED INTO HIS IMAGE is your purpose. Often, we get all caught up in what the Lord is using us for, or what we are doing for the Lord, or how God is using us. But the Lord doesn’t need you. He certainly doesn’t need me. God is far more interested in what He is doing IN you than what He is doing THROUGH you.
Wherever you are right now is wherever God has placed you. Focus on growing in your DEPTH with HIM and let HIM worry about WHAT He does in the BREADTH. Let us purpose in our own hearts to grow in the depth of KNOWING HIM and BEING TRANSFORMED INTO HIS LIKENESS and HE will concern Himself with where HE wants that to go. You may have been sent “far away, to the Gentiles”. There may be NO ONE in your workplace or even your own family who knows Christ but you. So focus on HIS ministry IN YOU instead of your ministry to OTHERS. God is sovereign and He may draw someone to Himself using the ministry He has done and is doing IN you rather than the ministry you think you are doing to others. Or even the ministry you THINK you want to do with others. Rely on the sufficiency of Christ because He IS sufficient and He doesn’t need YOUR help. Thank God for that truth.
Well, I hope this has been a blessing to you. I hope to see you all again soon. Have a wonderful week in the Lord. God bless you.