Today I continue our new series entitled, “Power of Fellowship.” One of the most important things that happens when you discover God is that you wind up also discovering yourself. I will use the Apostle Paul as an example today. He spent the early portion of his life becoming someone he was actually NOT called to be. When he discovered God, he wound up discovering himself, and he then spent the rest of his life becoming the man he was born to be and doing what he was born to do. Paul was able to get it done, going on five missionary journeys and writing half the New Testament, because he developed and maintained an intimate relationship with God. Let’s take a look at his life today.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. In Paul’s opening remarks to the believers in Galatia, the Apostle said, “Greetings from Paul, an apostle. I was chosen to be an apostle, but not by any group or person here on earth. My authority came from none other than Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Jesus from death.” (Gal 1:1). When you know God intimately, and you discover what He called you to do, your confidence comes from Him. You don’t have to ask the permission of men to be who God called you to be. This is the type of confidence God wants us all to have. But it is birthed out of a true and intimate relationship with God. When you truly know God, you will also know yourself and you will be at peace with who and what God called you to be and do.
2. Paul said, “God had special plans for me even before I was born. So he chose me through his grace. It pleased him to let me see and know his Son so that I could tell the Good News about him to the non-Jewish people.” (Gal 1:15,16). Paul knew God made plans for him before he was born. He knew the plans were specific and tailor-made. When he discovered God he also discovered God’s plans for his life. Paul then spent the rest of his life walking with God and becoming the man he was destined to be. This is how we are supposed to live.
3. Walking with God is about finding, following and finishing your divine assignment before you die. It is about discovering, developing in, and then deploying into your purpose. Anything less is a misappropriation of God’s grace.
4. If you spend your life becoming the person YOU always wanted to be and you consider yourself a success by the world’s standards, but you then get to heaven and find out that you spent your entire life becoming someone God did NOT call you to be, you were never a success. In this world people measure success by money, homes, cars and fame. In heaven success is measured by purpose. Either you found, followed and finished your purpose, or you did not. It’s really that simple.
5. While Paul made it clear, in several letters, that he was called to a specific assignment, he also made it clear that he was not special in this regard. We are all called to a specific assignment in the earth. In Paul’s letter to the believers in Ephesus, the Apostle said, “God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do.” (Eph 2:10). Did you catch that? We are supposed to spend our lives doing the good things God ALREADY planned for us to do. When I share things like this people often say, “Okay Rick, but how do I know what God called me to do?” The answer is found in what this series is all about. It is fellowship. You must spend time with God in earnest. You must get to know Him. Because if you really get to know God, you will also discover yourself (your true self) in the process.
6. You cannot choose or decide your purpose in life. Because God chose and decided it before you were born. Purpose cannot be decided, it must be discovered. Paul spent many years making a name for himself. He was well known as “Saul of Tarsus.” But he was actually living his life with a fake ID. He had become someone God did not call him to be. When he discovered God he wound up discovering himself. He then had to die to his old identity. He did, and he spent the rest of his life becoming the man he was born be (the Apostle Paul). The revelation of who he really was came to him as he spent quality time with God in fellowship. You and I must do the same.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I have discovered You. I have come to know You through Your Son, Jesus the Christ, my Lord. Now that I know You, I am also discovering who I am. You are revealing to me my true identity. In the process I am becoming the man/woman I was destined to be from the foundations of the world. By discovering You I have discovered myself and I will spend the rest of my days dying to my old identity and living out my purpose. I am who You say I am. I can do what You say I can do. And since I have consulted with You, I don’t need the approval of man to BE who You called me to be. I enter this day with fearless confidence and unshakable faith. I know You love me and You have called me to change the world. This is why I boldly declare: “As Jesus is, so am I, in this world!” I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!