This morning I opened my Bible and started a new study in the book of Galatians. The way I like to study is by slowly working my way through the book, one chapter at a time. Anytime something strikes me, I stop, re-read the verses and ask questions. What is the author saying here? Why did it strike me? What is God saying to me through this verse? Today, in the first chapter of Galatians, verses 15-17 prompted me to do just that.
Galatians 1:15-17 says,
"But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus."
Here's what jumped out at me - But when God... called me by his grace... I did not consult any man... but I went immediately. Take a minute to think about that. Paul, this Jew who was in full persecution mode wreaking havoc on followers of Christ, learned about the gospel in a unique manner. He didn't come to know God through other men, but by direct revelation from Jesus Christ. And in that moment, when God called him, he didn't hesitate. He didn't stop to ask his friends, "hey guys, do you think this makes sense? Isn't that weird? These guys I was persecuting, I think they might have it right!" He didn't go talk to the apostles who were already established in their faith. He went immediately.
His powerful example blows my mind and really challenges me. How often do I hesitate when I feel that God is calling me to do something or say something? How often do I hem and haw; is God saying that? Or is that me thinking it? I think about this a lot in regards to my writing. I had a feeling that God was calling me to write but I waited, I questioned, and continued in my own way. Then finally I submitted. I said okay God, if this is your call, if this is what you want me to do for you then I am all in.
God is before all things and in Him all things hold together - so why do we doubt what He has for us? Paul's example demonstrates this mightily as verse 24 says, "And they praised God because of me." If God can change a man who brutally tortured and slaughtered believers, into someone who pointed so many to His glory, then why wouldn't we trust that He will equip us and transform us for the call that He places on our lives? When God calls me to do something, I want to be like Paul and go immediately. Without even a moment's hesitation I want to surrender myself fully and trust that He will lead me.
If you feel God's call, can I ask you - are you jumping into motion? If not, let me encourage you - GO IMMEDIATELY. Trust in our everlasting, ever-loving God who knows what is best for you. If He is leading you there, He will not desert you. Get excited about where He's directing you, and step faithfully.