Following the Plan

Acts 22:14-16
And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.  For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

God had a very specific plan for Paul.  Paul had experienced a very significant and powerful moment with the Lord, but that was just the beginning.  There was so much more to come, so much more for him to do.  The first step is always belief.  Paul had to say yes to God, or else he would go on the same as he always had.  He had to receive Christ, believe on Him, and know Him.  That is our first step, as well.  We’re never going to fulfill God’s plan for our lives unless we believe on Christ and then work on getting to know Him.

Surely this had been a very humbling experience for Paul.  He had laid out his impressive pedigree.  He was an expert in the law, a prominent Jew, a chief persecutor of Christians.  Then he’d had to admit he was wrong.  He’d had to give up control, authority and his position.  He had to accept that he didn’t know everything.  And he had to face the reality of all that he had done and what that meant—knowing now that Christ is God, the God he supposedly served and wanted to obey, and he had persecuted Him.  He had defied Him and opposed Him.

Paul had to live with all of those things he had done, but he was still redeemed by the blood of Christ.  He was still chosen by His Lord to serve Him.  He could overcome, through the grace of God, what he had done, who he used to be, and so can we.  We, too, can be redeemed and move forward into the plan God has for our lives now.  We may have to live with some memories of the regrettable things we’ve done in our past, but we don’t have to stay in those old places once we’re introduced to the saving power of Jesus Christ.

So now that we’ve come to know Jesus, now that we’ve learned who He is and discovered a little bit about who we are, now that we’ve been washed clean, let’s go out and do what God has asked us to do.  Paul’s incredible journey had brought him to this place, this moment in time where he was doing exactly what God said he would do—being a witness of the power of Christ, the reality and the truth of Christ.  It wasn’t a mistake that he’d ended up here defending himself before a multitude.  So wherever we find ourselves, wherever God has brought us, let’s be encouraged that He has us right where He wants us to fulfill a specific purpose through us.

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