Paul is an amazing man. I like his honesty. When he looked at himself he declared that he was the chief of all sinners because he wasted the church. And he said that he was ignorant when he did it. Not giving an excuse, but just telling it like it was, he was ignorant. He did not know who God really was, and he had really misunderstood Jesus Christ and what He was all about.
What a breath of fresh air it would be for all of us to say the same thing. We were ignorant. Just did not know. I thought I knew, but I really missed the whole point. Therefore I wasted the church with wrong teachings and wrong understandings about God and what Jesus was really all about. It would do all of us some good if we would just admit it. My hand is raised. How about yours?
Well Paul is also an amazing man because of what God showed him. Paul was taken back to his birthday, the day when he was born into this world. He has a very different view of it years after his conversion, born again experience, receiving Christ, or however one might say. He saw that God was in the delivery room, and not just present, but he saw that was the one who had separated him from his mother’s womb. God was running the show. I don’t know who was there, I am sure they were not down at the general hospital in the maternity ward. But one thing is certain, God was on the scene, actively involved in Paul’s physical birth.
God was there due to the fact that there was an established plan, purpose and down right reason why Paul was born. I feel a shout coming on as I write. God was present when you were born. God was actively involved with your physical birth. You may were down at the general hospital in the maternity ward. But unbeknown to you God was right there. Oh… He had an established plan, purpose and down right reason for you when you were born as well. I hope you feel like shouting or whatever it is that happens when you can hardly contain yourself for the joy that is in you when you hear great news.
God was also there when the man who was blind from birth was born. No body understood why this blindness happen to this man. Many thought it was because of sin. Some body had to sin for this to happen. They sinned in a way that caused this blindness. That was what many thought. They had concluded that either the parents had sinned or the man himself had sinned (I guess before he was born?!?). Jesus had to bring a ray of understanding that no it was not sin, but it was for the glory of God. I am not going to act as if I understand all of what that means. I will say this. There was reason and purpose beyond the understanding of everyone there including the man himself. Jesus opens the door just slightly to say God’s glory is a mystery in many instances beyond our sight. Healing happened.
Paul receives an understanding that is wonderfully powerful. He states that God had separated him from his mother’s womb and called him to reveal Christ in him. In other words Paul was saying that God wanted to unveil, to make known, to show off, to present His Son in Paul. This was radical thinking. This was radical truth. This was radical teaching. It still is today. You are here, I am here and everyone around us are here so that God might reveal His Son in us! Some have not heard the call yet. Others know that they have been called, but don’t know to what they are called or why. they were called. While others have discovered this amazing truth that God wants to reveal His Son in them.
Paul needed to know this before he could preach! Otherwise all he could preach would be dead doctrines. Stuff that had been handed down to him. He was taught by the best. He had the best genealogy, from the tribe of Benjamin. He had the highest authority, a member of the Sanhedrin and letters from the High Priest. He had the greatest zeal above his contemporaries. But he did not have what it takes to preach God’s good news. He needed a personal revelation of God’s dealing with him even his being here, and he needed to see what God had done in him. He had to know that in order for God’s Son to be revealed in him, he needed to know that Christ was in him and he needed to know how did Christ get in him. This was an absolute necessity for Paul. It is an absolute necessity for you and for me.
You can tell the difference between someone who has a head knowledge of the Word of God. They have been taught the doctrines. They have been tested to see if they can recall what they were taught. They can remember certain ways to recall and to present the major points concerning certain doctrines. What is missing is what is absolutely necessary, a personal revelation of God’s dealing with them in such a way that they know that Christ of a truth is in them and that they must have Christ revealed, displayed, shown, made know through them. Only then can one speak. Only then does anyone have anything worth saying. It is Christ in you the hope of glory. It is Christ alive in you.
Please notice that this was so radical that Paul did not go to Jerusalem and meet with the other Apostles right away or soon thereafter. What he had revealed to him would have surely been watered down and maybe even challenged by the others. No Paul spent three years letting this God-given revelation take root in his spirit and soul. It rearranged all of what Paul thought he knew about the scriptures. It gave him a new way of seeing everything and everyone. He saw himself radically different. God gave him an understanding about himself that no one else could give him. It was so radical that everything that he had treasured and had gained as a result of his hard work and privileges that came with his advancements he saw and counted them as garbage when compared with the knowledge of Christ. Paul understood that the more he knew of Christ the more he knew of who was in him and who was being revealed in him.
What about you? Have you come to know that Christ is in you? Have you taken the time alone with God to let the truth about you take root. It took Paul 3 years in the desert after he saw Jesus. How long will it take for you with all of the distractions all around? Whatever it takes, please take time to think about who you really are and God;s involvement with you. Be ready for some radical changes in your thinking about God, yourself, other people and the circumstances around you. You may have started, but been distracted. Don’t worry about that. Just take some more time. Take a little today and a little tomorrow. Those little times will added up. Remember Christ is in you and He delights in revealing Himself to you as well. And the Holy Spirit is there to take the things of Christ and show them to you, for they are yours.
If this has been a help to you, please share it with others, and let me know your comments.