Change of Plans?

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“But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” -Acts 9:1-2


There are many who think God is far removed from His creation and from the lives of those who dwell in it, but He is very present in the lives of His children and even in the lives of those who deny His existence! Proverbs 16:9 assures us that “the heart of man plans his way, but God establishes his steps.”

Saul had a plan and purpose for his life, but God intervened and changed it completely. There are those who think He is distantly removed from us, and they live as though He really is. However, Scripture reveals to us a God who is intimately involved in the lives of His image-bearers. You may be dull to His presence consciously, and mindfully you believe you are your own god, but Scripture pulls the curtain back on the reality of life in God’s world.

A mere sparrow appears to be a trivial part of creation, yet Scripture declares not one falls to the ground apart from the Father. Such is possibly beyond your imagination, but it is true nonetheless. Have you even given thought to the exact number of hairs on your head? Of course not! Yet He knows precisely what you may consider pure inanity. The point being that the complete personal knowledge of you is never beyond your Creator.

You would not find this surprising revelation in the book of Matthew if it was not vital for you to know and act on. It is revealed as a critical life perspective, emphasizing the truth which immediately follows – namely, “you are of more value than many sparrows,” even of all else in non-human creation, and your purpose in life is to genuinely acknowledge Jesus as He is before all who come into your life so that He will in turn acknowledge you to His Father in heaven. Denying, ignoring, rejecting, or slandering Him before men will bring His denial also of you before His Father. There is nothing worse which could happen to you!

Saul was breathing hatred of Jesus’ followers as he set out for Damascus that day, purposing to destroy their lives. God intervened dramatically! Saul’s heart and life were transformed by the living Christ who had burst the bonds of death so recently. Saul, now “Paul” as a result of that dramatic meeting, became a bond-servant ever after of his Savior and Lord.

Whether or not Jesus came into your life in a similar manner as Paul, His presence is still all-encompassing in you. If you are His, acknowledging Him and your love for Him is paramount in your life. It is the chief priority of who you are and what you do.

Are your plans changed by Him? How will He intervene in your life this very day? Acknowledge Him before the neighbor you rub shoulders with today. Remember He is the constant mediator between you and your Father God.


“Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home when Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

(First verse of Civilla Martin’s hymn, “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” 1863-1948)

 

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Stephen Leonard

Paul Anderson Youth Home