Making the Mold
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. ~Galatians 1:15-17
The first century may have been the most exciting time in history next to the creation of the world. In the first century, the Lord Jesus Christ came to fulfill Scripture to die for the sins of the world. Three days after His death, He rose again from the dead. During the first century, the gospel spread throughout the world, and local churches were planted everywhere that the gospel was preached. During the first century, the New Testament was written and the Bible was completed. During the first century, God raised up men who impacted the world through their faith and preaching. In Galatians 1:15-17, Paul gives us an inside view of the calling God on his life. When we consider all that was accomplished during Paul’s ministry, God broke the mold as to what kind of man He would use. What Paul tells us in these verses is still the formula for God’s blessing.
We see the specifics in the calling.
Paul was called to be a preacher of the gospel and specifically to the Gentile world. There were great racial tensions between the Jews and Gentiles. Gentiles were disrespected, disregarded, and refused in Jewish circles. God took one of the most biased men in the Jewish culture and broke the mold by calling him to be a preacher to the Gentiles. Notice that Paul said that his calling was so that God would reveal His Son in him. Herein lies the secret to a ministry that is effective: are you someone through whom God is able to reveal His Son? Can God break you? Can God send you to difficult places? Do people see a genuine Christian in your words and actions?
We see the satisfaction in the calling.
Paul said, “It pleased God… by his grace.” God is pleased and honored to use us for His glory. That thought alone should encourage men serving God full-time to stay in the ministry. God is pleased through surrender and yieldedness. His calling does not ask for our opinion, our idea of the job description, or some pragmatic approach to ministry. First and foremost, we must remember that God is pleased. Wherever God sent Paul, it is certain that God was pleased. Even when things were tough for Paul, God was pleased.
We see the sequester through the calling.
As soon as he was certain of God’s calling, Paul went into sequester, or hiding. He did not go to Peter or to the leaders at Jerusalem to inquire of his fate and footsteps. Instead, Paul went to Arabia where he spent three years in secret with God. He went somewhere where nobody knew who he was, and he let God develop him. You might say that his internship in the ministry was at this location. He did not seek out consultants or second opinions. He found some place where he would get alone with God, spend time in prayer, study the Scriptures, and let God start a fire that would never be quenched.
We see substantial through the calling.
After his sequester, Paul returned to the public. All who heard his testimony and saw him glorified God for the changes in his life and direction. Paul broke the mold as a preacher, missionary, church planter, and writer. God had to have someone through whom He could break the mold and start a process that would change the world. That man was Paul!
God is still pleased to call men through whom to reveal His Son. God is still pleased to send men to areas where the gospel is least heard and preached. God is still pleased to use men through whom He can break the mold. Are you that someone?
Have a surrendered God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Romans 14-16