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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stop, Pray & Then Obey

Google Image Ancient Damascus
Acts 9:19-25 NIV

...Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.
After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.

Saul, shortly after his conversion to Christianity, began preaching in the synagogues. He was after all, a zealous Pharisee, a teacher of the law so he was doing what he did best, he taught. Only difference was he was now preaching and teaching about Jesus. The crowd liked him and Saul grew more powerful by proving that Jesus is the Christ, v 22. This angered the Jews and they planned to kill him but Saul found out and escaped. When we look at v 15 we can see that God was moving Saul into the area where He wanted him, with the Gentiles not the Jews.

Acts 9:15 NIV
But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel."

Saul was preaching to the Jews but God wanted him to preach to the Gentiles so, in God's amazing ways, which sometimes are scary, He had Saul flee for his life. You can tell by Saul's actions that he loved the Lord dearly and wanted to serve Him immediately in this new calling placed on his heart, the problem is he didn't find out just what it was God wanted of him, he just went out and served. Sometimes we are like this. We love God so much that we start doing for Him what we think He wants us to do but we haven't conversed with Him to find out how, or where He wants us then all of a sudden things fall down around us and all havoc breaks loose.

If you are being obedient to Jesus but it seems everything is a push instead of falling into place, then maybe you should stop and pray and find out just what it is God wants. Sometimes we are working for the Lord but we are not doing the Lord's work. Just look at Saul, not many were coming to the Lord, the Jews were mad and planned to kill him so God moved Saul probably in the only way that this stubborn man would move, by fleeing for his life.

God has a plan for your life and if you don't know what it is just ask Him He will answer. Doors will open and the way will be clear. The path may not be smooth or even easy but it will be fulfilling and things will work out to glorify God. After all this is the purpose of Christian, to glorify God 24/7 and tell others about this amazing free gift we have. Does this clear path guarantee an easy pain free life? No, it does not. Just look at v 16

Acts 9:16 NIV
(The Lord said) "I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

Saul did suffer greatly for Jesus but in this suffering he had the joy of the Lord and a very close relationship with Jesus.

Philippians 4:12-13 NIV
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

If you are passionate for Jesus and things are just not going your way and all of a sudden you find yourself being ushered into a new place or job and maybe in a very undignified way, this could just be God's way of moving you into His will. Stop, pray and then obey. God is working things out for His glory and He will take care of you and provide just what you need.



  1. I think we have to come to that place of peace and trust, where we don't get ruffled when all doesn't go according to our own plans. God sees the bigger picture, and He may say. "Not yet, or not ever"...and he knows best. Paul understood that and learned to give thanks in all situations..whether in jail, or hungry, he rejoiced and gave thanks.

    1. Hi Crystal Mary,
      Paul is a great teacher on finding joy in suffering. I agree with you each of us need to come to a place of understanding in God for peace and trust.

      Thank you for stopping by and adding in your words of wisdom that I so often glean from.


  2. and God is smarter than His plan is better than my plan!

    1. Hi momto8,
      The older I get the more I see just how awesome God's plan is. I try to instil into my children to trust God, obey their parents and life will be amazing for them, but, like me, they need to learn the hard way. :s



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