Acts is such an amazing book in the Bible. It is packed with awesome. Reading through the book you realise just how important we are to God. That we are not just numbers but individuals He has chosen. He knows each of us by name and He knows where we are. He knows what we need when we need it. He fills us with the Holy Spirit so we can have help to do all we have been chosen to do.
I am drawn to the conversion of Saul (Paul) and how God chose him to preach the Gospel to Gentiles, kings and the children of Israel.
I think it is amazing how Jesus came to Saul while Saul was still threatening to murder Jesus' people. Jesus chose Saul right where he was. He didn't wait for him to get right and stop his murderous ways first before He chose him.
In the same way Jesus has chosen us right where we are. He has chosen us to do many things in His name but He has chosen us while we were still sinners. While we are still messed up.
I have been a Christian for many years but I still make mistakes and mess up. I don't know everything yet and I know I never will. I do what I have been equipped to do by God. He is the one that makes me capable. The things I do in my own strength are worth very little but when I rely on God and what He is doing in my life He takes what I have and uses it to His glory and adds to it in ways I could never have imagined.
When He takes us out of our filth He doesn't just leave us but He transforms us so that we can never go back. We are His chosen vessels. He doesn't clean us out and then leave us empty. He fills us with the Holy Spirit. Not half full, not just a drop but full to the top.
If you are feeling of little worth and that God couldn't possibly use you just remember God sees who you are today but He also sees who you will become. He says the things you will do in His name will overshadow the things you have done in the past.
Saul was a bad man and everyone knew what he did but God chose him and transformed him so that people were amazed and confused that this was the same man. When God calls your name and you answer 'Lord what do You want me to do?' the Lord will tell you to arise and shine. We need to be willing to open our hearts and our hands to whatever God has chosen and called us to do. There must be no room for fear or apprehension. Saul was struck blind and he could not see the way to go but he still did what Jesus told him to do and that was to go into the city. He sat and he waited and prayed in the dark for 3 days.
Most often we are called to sit in the unknown but it isn't about how dark things are but what we do in that time. We may be in the dark but God still hears our prayers just as He told Ananias to go to Saul because he was there, without sight, and praying.
Paul suffered many things after he came to Christ and it says that Jesus showed him the things he would suffer in His name. That is true for us too. Suffering is awful and something we never want to go through but we have never been promised to have it easy. In Acts 5 we read about all the disciples suffered and yet we get to verse 41 and we see them rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
Wow how can this be? How is it that they are holding the fact that they suffered in such high regard? They have seen that when they suffer they suffer not for themselves but for the Almighty Saviour Jesus. It is an honour to do this for Christ because we can never ever suffer as much as Jesus did for us. If we do not suffer are we doing God's will for us? Not everyone we meet loves us. In fact there are plenty who hate us and who even kill our brothers and sisters everyday. Are you willing to suffer the same for the name of Christ or do you play it safe for fear of offending someone with the Truth?
Sometimes it is just better to sit in my little house and do what every other person is doing but I don't want to blend in. I don't want for my life to pass by where I have done nothing even close to significant. Where I have suffered nothing and brought no glory to His great and all powerful name. Because of my comfort and my selfishness, I suffer nothing. I may offend a few people here and there with my opinion because they don't agree with me but I just keep my mouth shut when things get a bit heated. I don't mean we should argue with people and get angry but we should speak the Truth and not tie it up in a cutesie ribbon with some pretty theme music so it won't offend.
I am so sorry that things are they way they are but I cannot change the way the world is going but I can open my mouth and preach Jesus. Jesus who suffered on the cross. Taking on Himself the sin of the world so that you and I may be put back in right standing with God that we will not go to the place all those who reject God are destined to go.
Chosen Vessels. Each of us. Vessels do nothing when empty. We have the Holy Spirit that wants to fill us and use us for awesome things that will bring glory to Him throughout all the Earth. Will you be willing to be filled and poured out for whatever God is calling you to do? No matter the cost?