Paul had it all figured out in his early years. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees who had studied under the renowned Gamaliel (Philippians 3:5). His future was clear. He knew he was going where God wanted. Right?
Enter Jesus, blinding Paul on the road to Damascus, blinding Paul when Paul was on what he thought was his life’s mission to keep the nation of Israel pure and holy, undefiled by the blasphemous new sect.
Yet, Paul was going the wrong way. Yes, he was going to Damascus. But not the way he thought. He wasn’t going to persecute and kill Christians. He wasn’t going to persecute Jesus. He was going to be transformed. He was going for life. He was going for the fulfillment of the promise of God.
The road on which Paul travelled was a road made by the Lord. Paul thought he had it figured out, but really it was Jesus who had figured it out for him.
We make our plans, but God directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9). It’s so easy to think that our past was a waste. Or that our past has hindered our future. Or that we’ve gone so far in the wrong direction that we’re now useless.
But God wastes nothing. Nothing takes Him by surprise.
Paul’s citizenship at birth, his early training, and his notoriety and standing among the Jews, he had before he saw Jesus. God had given it all to him.
Paul used it, made his plans, did what he thought was right. And then that road to Damascus.
Paul took all he had, all his plans, all God had given him, and gave it all up. He counted it loss when he saw Jesus.
And then, throughout his ministry, God used all those things as tools. These tools opened doors, shut doors, and blessed Paul.
God gave to Paul right at birth. Paul laid it down at His feet when God revealed Himself to Paul. And God used it all to minister to Paul and through Paul. And Paul ministered to God.
Everything I am is the Lord’s. Everything I have been is loss, given to my God, laid at the cross, laid at His feet. And He will use it all.
He ministers to me and I minister to Him. How amazing is that? To God be the glory!