Posts Tagged ‘Saul of Tarsus’

Restorer of Destiny

a well defined path

the path

What is defining your life? Are you positioned to fulfill your greatest purpose and could you reach your destiny from this place, at this time? Perhaps you are far from where you hope to be. Its okay to have seasons of uncertainty, but to have no sense of direction is a very dangerous place to find yourself.

Take a moment and imagine yourself from God’s perspective. God has made Himself available and torn down the walls of separation between His love and our hearts. He has a plan for our good that should never be missed through our ignorance or selfish ambition.

If your dreams have been stolen from you or your goals drew you off course somewhere, then you must make every effort to hear the promise of God…”I will restore to you the years that the locust have eaten” (Joel 2:25).

God is the restorer of broken destiny! Now is the time to ask the Lord to release the winds of change to blow over your life and shift you back on track with your destiny in Him. Its well within the reach of your voice, but you must call upon Him for the shift to occur (Jer 33:3).

The primary reason we must call upon God is because of how much of life is hidden and difficult to understand… we are limited to our own experience.

Jesus said to Saul of Tarsus, on the road to Damascus “its hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:5).

What He was trying to tell this confused and dangerous persecutor of the early church was that He had a better plan for his life. Jesus was calling out to Saul to become the Apostle to the entire Gentile World. Notice that Jesus took the initiative because experience was leading Saul more off course all the time. Restoration is a product of experiences with God not experiences apart from Him. This Apostle to the Gentiles would later write,

“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).

On track with God, Paul was aware that Christ was the Restorer of Destiny.

Restoring Purpose

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11)

What is defining your life? Are you positioned to fulfill your greatest purpose and could you reach your destiny from this place… at this time? Perhaps you are far from where you hope to be. Its okay to have seasons of uncertainty, but to have no sense of direction is a very dangerous place to find yourself.

Take a moment and imagine yourself from God’s perspective. God has thoughts about you… He has made Himself available and torn down the walls of separation between His love and your heart. He has a plan for good that should never be missed through ignorance or selfish ambition. The purpose of God is always for your good, your peace and your victory in life.

If your dreams have been stolen or your goals have drifted off course, then you must make every effort to hear the promise of God… “I will restore to you the years that the locust have eaten” (Joel 2:25).

What is God Doing!

I believe God is restoring purpose in these days! Now is the time to ask the Lord to release the winds of change over your life… to clarify your focus and shift you back on track with your destiny in Him. Its well within the reach of your voice, but you must call upon Him for the shift to occur (Jer. 33:3).

The primary reason we must call upon God is because we need to be able to see spiritually! So much of life is hidden and difficult to understand… we are limited by experiences, hindrances, selfish ambition and trauma.

Jesus said to Saul of Tarsus, on the road to Damascus “its hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:5).

A Better Plan!

What He was trying to tell this confused and misguided man (a persecutor of the early church) “Stop this foolishness… cause I have a better plan for your life”. Jesus was calling out to Saul to become the Apostle to the entire Gentile World. Notice, Jesus took the initiative, because experience was leading Saul more off course all the time. Restoration is a process of recovering Kingdom purpose! Hearing the voice of Jesus really matters… because when God’s thoughts are understood, than we begin to see spiritually!

This same person would later write, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).

Capturing A Heart

I am Your Chosen Child

Jesus is the Master… “At Capturing A Heart”

It was what a friend of mine calls “a life intervention”, between Saul of Tarsus and the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet it becomes the life changing event where Saul becames Paul and a destiny is transformed. It was somewhere along the Damascus Road that a light from Heaven peered directly into a very dark place… Saul’s heart.

A Stubborn Heart:

His was no ordinary heart, it was thirsting for blood and zealous for a law without mercy. The determination and hatred seemed to overflow in his quest for letters of approval from the governing leaders of Jerusalem. It made him a persecuter of the Church and pursuer of Christians. “Still breathing out threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord”, this ruthless man seemed convinced that the followers of “The Way” needed “to be bound and brought to Jerusalem”.

Divine Encounter:

What could have been an end, becomes a transformation. A light from Heaven, the voice of Jesus and three days without physical sight made all that seemed so desperate, pale in its urgency. Saul was now waiting for a visitor in a place he had never been, from someone he had never met, with a message he would never have imagined.

What could this mean?

While at the house of a man named Judas, on Straight Street, Saul was left to consider the vision of the Risen Lord Jesus for three long days. Would this end in death? Would it be quick or was God’s Son so angry that He would torture the persecuter? Saul would have no sight, just an echo in his heart of an encounter that struck him to the ground. ”Could it really be true that this Jesus had risen from the dead?” This would re-focus anyone’s life, but what could Jesus mean by “you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:6).

Receiving Sight!

Ananias enters the house; and laying his hands on Saul he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17). Jesus was saying, “I have chosen you as My vessel to bear My name before Gentiles, Kings and the Children of Israel” (Acts 9:14), but more than that, He was capturing the heart by an encounter with the Holy Spirit. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he would never be the same again! Scales fell away and a new determination was birthed within his heart. Saul would be wrecked forever, because his heart had been captured by Love, Himself… not the emotion, the Holy Spirit.

Filled with the Holy Spirit!

The Lord Jesus captured the heart of the persecuter; Saul, by filling him with the Holy Spirit. There is no doubt for anyone to become completely captured, they must be completely filled with the Holy Spirit. I have heard it said that in order to remove a passion from a heart, like fear or hate; it must be conquered by a greater passion, like chosenness and love. My only comment is that when the Holy Spirit fills a person, He captures the seat of all passion.

“I count all things loss…that I may gain Christ.” (Phil 3:8)

We read in the Apostle Paul’s words, an expression of the captured  heart. He holds forth a compelling satisfaction in knowing Christ Jesus as Lord and a desire to see the salvation of his fellow countrymen. This formerly driven persecuter was now focused on preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to all people, Jews and Gentiles alike (Rom 10:1-4). His greatest desire and prayer to God for all of them was that they might be saved. His longing was that they turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for the capturing of their own hearts.

Found Praying

The Holy Spirit came to a godly man living in Damascus named Ananias. The instruction to Ananias was to go to Judas’ house on Straight Street, lay hands on Saul and restore his sight. Of course, Ananias knew of Saul’s reputation and realized this was going to be dangerous. Yet, here is how the Holy Spirit speaks of Saul of Tarsus to Ananias: “behold, he is praying” (Acts 9:11). The Lord was saying, in essence, “Ananias, you will find this man on his knees. He knows you are coming and he will be found praying. He even knows your name, and why you’re being sent to him. He wants his eyes opened.”

Saul was Desperate:

When did Saul receive this inner knowing? How did he receive this vision, this pure Word from God? It came through fervent prayer and supplication. In fact, I believe the Holy Spirit’s words to Ananias reveal what moved God’s heart about Saul. Saul had been shut in with God for three days, refusing all food and water. All he wanted was the Lord. So he continued on his knees all that time, praying and seeking God.

Prayer Changes Everything:

Yes, prayer does indeed change us, and that is surely one of God’s purposes for it. But the Bible says that prayer can actually change things that seem impossible. Like a man named Saul of Tarsus becoming a mighty Apostle to the Gentiles.

Co-Laboring:

Have you ever asked or wondered why pray? Why does God choose to work this way? Why not just do everything Himself? Why include us? I believe the answer is very simple, “co-laboring”. When God’s people can be involved in His work and experience a flow of grace through prayer, they will be drawn closer to Him. Perfect example of this, is Ananias. God didn’t need Ananias to go to Saul and pray for him. He could have done it without Ananias… but He didn’t. And the amazing testimony is still effecting the world as Christians read the New Testament letters of Paul.

Maintain Your Prayer Life!

Next time you pray, say to yourself: “This prayer could change history!” As intercessors, God has ordained that we pray (1 Tim. 2:1). He intends to change things through my prayer, and He has ordained my voice to impact the world for His purpose… to bring about Kingdom results.

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (Jms. 5:16)… it changes the impossible!

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