"Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death … Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison." – Acts 8:1, 3 NASB
Saul was a superstar in the making. An outstanding student, he received the finest education available. Although he had Jewish roots, he was from Tarsus (in present-day Turkey). This gave him a cosmopolitan perspective and broad experiences. His theological and political views seemed flawless. On top of this, he was totally dedicated.
Yet, even with this background, he experienced a radical change when Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Paul’s character did not change. He remained brilliant, dedicated, and selfless.
But his focus changed. So did the way he employed his gifts and training. He realized that God had been preparing him in unique ways for the ministry to which he had been called. He was to serve God in ways he never previously considered: preaching the Gospel and encouraging believers, not persecuting them. He was not ending the movement of those following Jesus but expanding it.
God continues to work this way in the lives of men and women. Some have a calling that seems clear even from their youth. But others go through circumstances that, on the surface, would never seem to point toward the Gospel. Yet God prepares His people in unique ways.
Consider your unique background and the way God has prepared you. Remember that He has a special plan for you, that He will prepare you for assignments that may not be clear at present. Seek to stay faithful to Him.
Father, I commit my time, talents, and treasures to You. Use me for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.