These next couple of weeks we are going to be focusing on one ordinary man who God used for extraordinary things. This man is Paul, also known as Saul.
We are going to start by taking a look at Acts 9.
Saul was the antagonist in this section. He was so dead set on persecuting people who believed in Jesus. He was the “modern day bounty hunter” as my study bible describes him. He wanted to turn believers into the high priest so they were persecuted for believing in Jesus.
This is where things take a turn.
Imagine just walking on a quiet road in the middle of nowhere and you hear a voice but you see nobody. Do you convince yourself your crazy? Go get evaluated? There weren’t any psych hospitals back in Saul’s day, so he was kind of stuck.
He was on his way to Damascus to find people to turn into the high priest, and this is exactly what Saul experiences.
“He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ “ (Acts 9:4).
Jesus had appeared to Saul, wondering why Saul was doing this. Saul knew he was in trouble, and only he could redeem himself at this point.
Saul was now blind. His encounter with Jesus literally knocked him off of his feet, and he opened his eyes but could see nothing (Acts 9:8).
This is where Jesus starts working his magic. He appeared to a man by Ananias in a dream. Jesus told Ananias about Saul and what Ananias was supposed to do.
“The Lord said to him, Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.” (Acts 9:11).
Saul had a dream where his blindness was healed. These weren’t just dreams though. They were messages from Jesus. Even Ananias had trouble with this because he knew Saul. He knew that Saul was condemning people for believing in Jesus’ name. I guess you could say that he tried arguing with Jesus. Jesus wasn’t having it though and Ananias had no choice but to be obedient.
Saul was healed. He could see. He saw the power of Jesus and he started preaching in Damascus and Jerusalem. However, some of the jews had wanted to kill him. Meanwhile, Saul was gaining some followers and was protected.
It still didn’t end there. Barnabus took him in, and Saul preached the word vigorously. People still wanted Saul dead. Eventually, he was sent back to Tarsus, his home land.
I guess the moral of the story is this: God uses ordinary people for extraordinary things.
Besides Saul (Paul), let me give a few examples.
-Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.
-Mary gave birth to Jesus. Given the time and the setting, most scholars can agree on the fact that Mary was probably a girl in her mid-late teens.
-David after he became king! David murdered and had committed adultery, yet still God used him.
I’m sure there are many more people throughout the Bible that God used for His glory, and I’m excited to read their stories.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
If Bible evidence isn’t enough for you, then let me say this.
I never expected to start this blog. I never expected to keep up with it. I never expected the outcome that it has been getting. I never expected to get in trouble with the law. But the thing is, I did. It was a mistake, and I had to learn from it (I’ll explain further when I give my testimony!). But I understand WHY it happened. That was the defining moment I had decided to completely surrender my life to Jesus. Not just halfway surrendering like I have done previously. But whole heartedly and completely. And watching myself transform into the person God wants me to become? Sharing His word through my blog as well as my story? To me, thats a powerful thing to think about.
Just like Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
God uses ordinary people for extraordinary things for His glory.
What are you going to do? Are you going to ignore it? Or are you going to listen? The choice is yours. But I promise you, if you listen, what you will witness is unfathomable. You’ll witness something only God could construct.
Photo by The Roaming Platypus on Unsplash