You’ve got it all figured out! You don’t need Jesus! You have your five-year plan set and your goals laid out before you and nothing will stand in your way. You’ve set your path. You’ve decided your destiny. You’re strong and capable and you’re going to do whatever feels right for you. Watch out world!
I bet this is how the Apostle Paul (a.k.a. Saul) felt before he met Jesus. He was educated and well-rounded. He came from a distinguished family. He was connected. Everything in his life had lined up and brought him to the place he was at when we first meet him in the Book of Acts. (Acts 8:1, Acts 9:1-9) He was on a mission to get rid of the people claiming that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. He was exactly where he was supposed to be, or so he thought. Enter Jesus! When Saul met Jesus, he was stopped in his tracks! Literally! Suddenly he saw all the stuff he had spent his life working towards as completely useless. None of it was in line with who Jesus wanted him to be and he knew he had to stop immediately and get on the right path.
Saul thought he had himself all figured out and everyone else thought they had him figured out, too. His reputation preceded him, and the Christians in Damascus and the surrounding areas knew they needed to steer clear of him or be persecuted. A perfect example of this was Ananias. He was minding his own business when all the sudden the Lord informed him that he needed to go find Saul and heal him. (Acts 9:10-16) Ananias couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Surely, he misunderstood. After all, this Saul guy was out there trying to take them down. God couldn’t possibly want to save him.
The Lord’s response to Ananias made it pretty clear that regardless of what Saul thought his mission was or how beyond saving Ananias thought he was, God had a plan for Saul that he was going to bring about.
“Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.” – Acts 9:15
It didn’t matter who Saul thought he was before Jesus. Nor did it matter who everyone else thought he was before Jesus. All that mattered is that he had an encounter with Jesus and it changed the entire trajectory of his life! Today so many people spend time searching for their life’s purpose. They define themselves in ways that God did not intend for them. They float around in life making decision based on their feelings. And even if they find success in a worldly sense, it doesn’t reap any eternal benefits. It is only when Jesus steps into our path and we fall on our knees and surrender to him that the purpose of our existence will finally come into focus.
You are God’s chosen instrument for something with eternal purpose. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ and let him show you the way!
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. – Proverbs 19:21