Victim or perpetrator, God wants you to fulfill your destiny in Him. Saul of Tarsus who was on the way to Damascus to imprison and kill Christians, when God stepped in.
“A light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!”
God chose Saul despite his murderous actions and intentions. When Ananias, a believer, was asked by God to go and heal Saul, he was afraid and responded with, “But Lord!” We often do the same and tell God all the reasons why not, as if He didn’t already know.
Too often we get stuck at “But Lord!” yet God answered with a but of His own, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” I wonder if Ananais took comfort in Saul’s future suffering and not God’s mission for him!
“So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Saul’s conversion was dramatic and within a few days he was preaching Jesus wherever he went and very quickly people wanted to kill him for it! Yet the believers themselves were sometimes afraid of him and disbelieving of his conversion. Imagine if the story had stopped there, we wouldn’t have significant chunks of the new testament and it could have delayed the spread of the gospel.
Whether we were the victim or the person committing the sin / crime, there are no valid excuses in the battle to fulfill our purpose. On the threshold of destiny stands the doorway of forgiveness and repentance for each one of us. By turning from our sin and asking God to forgive us we open the doorway of relationship between us and God and receive forgiveness. Often the next step is to forgive ourselves. Then, what the hardest job of all, forgive others.
We have to face up to the stagnant pool of fear, anger, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness in our lives and forgive ourselves and those who have sinned against us even if they don’t repent. Sometimes we also need to go and ask others to forgive us.
I stayed stuck for years and my life spiralled downwards before I was finally able to put my past behind me, let go of unforgiveness and move on. I really have found in the words of Matthew West, that, “the prisoner that it really frees is you.”
Now I have a new freedom and am actively pursuing my destiny no longer weighed down by my past. How about you? Are you ready to let go and let God? This song by Gungor explores how God can create beautiful things even out of things we consider worthless like dust.
- Acts 9 Saul’s conversion
- Forgiveness by Matthew West http://www.songlyrics.com/matthew-west/forgiveness-lyrics/
- Beautiful things by Gungor Lyrics http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/gungor/beautifulthings.html
© Michelle Sherlock – All rights reserved (Second image of steps and doorway taken along Chester city wall UK 12/7/14)