When We Were Each One, He Called Us
It’s recorded that we are children of Abraham, and the meaning is clear, that by the Spirit and the wonderful working of God we have received a faith like his. This was of the same substance as Christ Himself is. He is, and was, and ever shall be the author and finisher of faith. We read that when Abraham was but one God called him, and we know that throughout his life God worked until He made that man a father of many nations. If you do not know Abraham’s story, go back and read it and the Lord will reveal how He has and will continue to work in your own life. Abraham knew the voice of God. He heard Him speak, believed, and followed. It is the same for each of us. Paul, the apostle and servant of God, instructs us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. Once we receive Christ, we are God’s child and we ought not to think of ourselves than less than that. Yet, it is God who calls, it is God who chooses our specific paths.
I was recently drawn back to the last portion of Paul’s letter to the Romans. Remember, this was a letter that a man, Paul, wrote to ones he loved and knew he was to share the true wisdom he had received. Paul (Saul) was alone as Jesus Christ humbled him on the road to Damascus and, alone with God, he went off to Arabia to soak and ponder all that he thought he knew. He wrote elsewhere that he had a zeal for God but not according to knowledge. That is experiential knowledge, not school knowledge. As he wrote to the Philippians, he acknowledged all that had become waste. He had consumed much knowledge and life experience but he pressed on to know intimately, and love, Christ. The end goal was a resurrection out of this earthly life into a heavenly. He recognized that his life was being poured out.
We are not Paul. The Lord has kindly, gently reminded me many times, that I am not this one, or that one who I appreciate and respect. Do not try to emulate any great hero of the faith. But do be encouraged by them. In my last entry I mention awareness and visitation of those among the cloud of witnesses. Most of all, fix your eyes on Jesus, our author and finisher. Know His voice. Learn to be still, to sit at His feet and listen. As we seek His face, pursuing a deeper and deeper knowing of Him, He will reward us. Saul would have never been transformed into Paul but for two of the Lord’s other servants in particular. It was Stephen’s slaying that hardened Saul’s heart. Isn’t it a wonder that his name matches that one who was given as a king to Israel but that Saul did not know the Lord like David did. That Saul persecuted David, and this later Saul persecuted the Son of David, Jesus.
Stephen so glorified the Lamb of God that Jesus stood to welcome Him. (Acts 7:55-60) Stephen interceded at his passing as Jesus had done at the cross. That was the beginning of Saul’s capture by the Lord. The Lord chooses our specific callings and knows how to apprehend us. When Saul was then blinded by the glory of the Lord, everything he thought he knew was destroyed. Later, he would write about destroying arguments and every proud obstacle to the true knowledge of God. He knew what he was writing. In Damascus, the Lord had Ananias ready to go and pray for Saul. Ananias questioned the Lord on that assignment and the Lord made it clear. He went and prayed and scales fell from Saul’s eyes. The Lord’s glory had blinded Him and the Lord healed him. Ananias was important in Paul’s life. And we should mention Barnabas another faithful servant who helped Saul on the way into his full calling and ministry.
Back to the very last chapter of Romans. Read the names of those acknowledged. They are mentioned here and nowhere else that we have available. I am sure their names are in the Lamb’s book of life. Of course, that book is the one that truly matters. But the Holy Spirit wanted us to read this, to hear of these faithful ones. Your name is in God’s book. He has a book written for you. (Psalm 139:16) Don’t think of yourself as insignificant. If you are reading this, know He has called you. Keep coming to Him. He will capture your heart so that you know the Father’s heart, the mind of Christ and His good, and acceptable, and perfect will. And He will direct your steps. He will send you. It may not look significant to you. The outward significance counts for nothing. What transpires in your heart makes all the difference. He is seeking those who will draw near and know His refining fire. Simply draw close and He will do the rest.