Sunday, July 28, 2019

A key witness


A friend asked me recently what she could pray for me about. I found myself rambling on and on about how there’s so many things I feel like God is asking me to do someday, but each time I try to take a step towards one of those things, a roadblock appears or He tells me it’s not time to take those steps yet. Then when I start to ask Him questions about why not, all He says is:
“Get ready.” 

I told my friend that even though I’m not in a season of God being silent, it can almost be even more frustrating, when all He’s saying is, "Get ready…"

Get ready for what? Get ready for who? Get ready HOW?

How can you adequately prepare for something when you don’t even know what is coming?

I recently read through Acts, where most of Paul’s adventures are recorded. It was wildly motivating and inspiring during the season that I'm in. 
Paul put blood, sweat, and tears into his ministry. 

In Acts, you'll occasionally read that the person or the group of people that he was ministering to ended up accepting Jesus, but there’s also so many stories of how he had to flee certain cities because they refused to believe what he was saying. They called him a blasphemous liar. They locked him out. They threw him in jail. They started riots against him to have him killed. They laughed and mocked him. They beat him and left him for dead.  They even pushed him to give up for short stints at a time because of their constant arguing and contradicting him at every turn. 

But in Acts 18:8-11, Paul has a dream where God tells him,
“Keep it up, and don’t let anyone intimidate or silence you. No matter what happens, I’m with you and no one is going to be able to hurt you. You have no idea how many people I have on my side in this city.” 

And that was all Paul needed to keep moving forward. Not knowing how long he would stay until God urged him to move along and not knowing where he would visit next. 

But he kept going. He held on. He continued readying himself. 

Then in Acts 22, Paul is telling his testimony to an angry crowd in hopes that they’ll hear where he came from and simmer down. 

He tells the story of his meeting with God face-to-face on the road to Damascus that left him blind, but on fire to spread the good news of Jesus. 

The first thing he saw when God let him see again was a man named Ananias, who said, 
“The God of our ancestors has handpicked you to be briefed on his plan of action. You’ve actually seen the Righteous Innocent and heard him speak. You are to be a key witness to everyone you meet of what you’ve seen and heard. So what are you waiting for? Get up and get yourself baptized, scrubbed clean of those sins and personally acquainted with God.”

So Paul thought he had experienced all he needed to be a key witness for God. 

But then Paul tells the crowd that he then went to Jerusalem and God called him to leave. God said, “Get out of here as quickly as you can. None of the Jews here in Jerusalem are going to accept what you say about me.”

Paul didn’t want to leave and he objected, saying that who then could be more qualified than him? He had an incredible testimony of how God transformed him, so who could be a better witness?

But God said, “Don’t argue. Go. I’m sending you on a long journey to outside Gentiles.”

Paul thought he was good enough already for the task at hand. He thought he had already gone through what he needed to get the job done most effectively. But God had other bigger plans in store. 

Before Paul could be the key witness God needed him to be, he had to first go on a journey with God. There were things he had to do first
He had to stand up to kings and high priests in court on behalf of Jesus’ name. He had to encourage others, set things right, minister, worship, teach, pray, and heal. 

God had better plans for Paul than Paul ever could’ve seen coming. He just had to first learn how to “ready” himself without fully understanding what he was getting ready for. 

This is what God calls us to do every day. 
Instead of objecting and trying to convince God that we’re good enough where we currently are, what could change if we jumped at His proposition to take us on an even greater journey? 
Maybe a journey into the unknown, where He lights up only one step at a time? 

His challenge to ready myself without giving me a clear answer about what I’m getting ready for, now excites me because I know without a doubt that it’s something bigger than I could plan for myself. 

And you. You have access to what it takes to be a key witness of His big plans for your life too. Think about it. 

What could He be asking you to prepare yourself for?

Buckle up and get ready!

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