Have you ever thought of yourself as a chosen instrument? Do you see yourself as called and chosen? The beauty of the orchestra is when every gifted musician comes together for one purpose, to create a sound together. Before each individual is united, they have cultivated their gift alone, for a purpose, to be part of a larger collection, at a later time. It took much time spent developing their gift before they were joined as one. Now they are not alone, they are tuned in to the conductor.
Saul was a Jewish believer whose goal in life was to persecute Christian believers. He witnessed the stoning of Stephen, not realizing that very soon he would be witnessing the risen Lord on the road to Damascus. “Suddenly, a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9: 3-4) Saul knew he was in the presence of deity.
When Saul got up from the ground, he opened his eyes and could see nothing. “For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.” (Acts 9: 9)
In the same city, there was a man named Ananias, that the Lord called to in a vision. He instructed, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” (Acts 9: 10-12)
- If God gives you a vision or knocks you down on the ground, pay attention! He may send someone to you to help. Accept the help!
Ananias did not want to go to Saul. He starts telling the Lord all the bad reports he has heard about Saul who had persecuted Christians. Yet God called Saul, “My chosen instrument to carry the name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.” (Acts 9: 15)
- God’s chosen instruments are called to work together for the Kingdom of God, to orchestrate and build.
Well, Ananias obeys and lays his hand on Saul, and his sight is restored, and he’s filled with the Holy Spirit. “Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized…” (Acts 9: 18)
What next? Saul spends several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once, he was preaching in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. They couldn’t believe this was the man who is now preaching Jesus! He was no longer alone, called as a chosen instrument with others, for the purposes of God.
The Jews did not like this and they were conspiring to kill him, but Saul learned of this. “His followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.” (Acts 9: 25) They had some massive size baskets that can fit an adult body! Where would you store these at?
Do we see our worth and purpose for God? Eliphaz asks, “Can a man be of benefit to God? Can even a wise man benefit him? (Job 22: 2) He is still assuming that Job is a wicked man and God is punishing him. He tells Job, “Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” (Job 22: 21) He must have not known that God called Job the most righteous man in all the earth. He didn’t get that memo!
- Folks never see us the way God sees us. That’s why our identity is in HIM, not on what others think of us.
Joshua had to lead and not worry what others thought. He and the Israelites set out and went to the Jordan. The instructions he gave were “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never went this way before, but keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not go near it.” (Joshua 3: 2-4)
- Carrying the presence of the Lord will move you out from your position. He will show you which way to go. It’s never about our positions. Follow His lead.
Another important instruction Joshua gives, “Consecrate yourselves…” (Joshua 3: 5)
- Remember we carry the presence of the Lord.
So they continue toward the Jordan River and as soon as the priests carrying the ark touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing.
Carrying God’s presence will keep folks living and moving on the edge while being firmly grounded. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? It’s not. Why?
We learn to let His firm foundation lead and guide us and that standing firm does not mean standing still.
The presence carriers “Stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.” (Joshua 3: 17) The waters then flowed back into the Jordan. Twelve memorial stones, one for each tribe, were set in place as a monument to remind all future generations of what happened at that place.
God has a place, a set place, for His chosen instruments, who are called to Him, and called to build His Kingdom. What place are we called to? What group is He establishing you with? Who is your tribe?
(Acts 9: 1-25, Job 22, Joshua 3: 1-5: 1, Modified)
UNBROKEN LOVE SERIES
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