Used of God

Galatians 1:13-18 English Standard Version (ESV)

13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days.

This is Saul, also called Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ. Note carefully of his zealous Judaism. He knew how the Jews were taught and knew how they thought. Knowing the minds of the Jews one might think that he should be sent to the Jews. Even this early in his conversion Paul knew he was called to preach to the Gentiles. Since he was familiar with Judaism, how would he learn the Gentiles thoughts and what were they taught? Perhaps this is why Paul was away from this ministry for three years.

We can speculate all we want about Paul’s three years but the scriptures are closed on these matters. All we know is that he spent time with non-Jews. What is important at this moment of Paul’s return to minister to the Gentiles is him seeking out Peter. Peter’s ministry was to bring Christ to the Jews. This might have seemed to be a job better suited to Paul as Peter was a fisherman.

How is it that God chooses to use us where we are not well suited?

It Works

Philippians 2:13 (ESV) for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Notice that this scripture does not say how God accomplishes His will and work. Yesterday I left you to ponder which type of believer you are, faith based or scientist. It does not matter to God which one you are because it accomplishes God’s will for you. Some of us need to accept and some of us need to understand. Neither group needs to fear the other nor feel superior in any way.

We were speaking about essential truth and how each of us comes about understanding truth. Yesterday’s opening scriptures identified God the Father as the one true God. All other gods are false yet people seem to find a way to believe in some other god. Some are just as dedicate to a false god as we are to our God. Some will even die martyrs to prove themselves because they have no other way.

What does God have to do to prove Himself to you? That is a very personal question only you can answer. God has proven Himself to me in ways that others have not experienced. I was too rebellious to accept God in conventional ways. God had to get my attention in ways I would understand and accept. Praise God that He did and praise God that others are not as hardheaded as I am.

I am still hardheaded but God uses that to His advantage. He knew what He was getting when He got me and He also knows how to get the most out of me. It is not any different for other believers. God knows how to extract what He needs from each of us. For some it is faith and for others a deep dive for understanding.