17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
We’ve been talking about obedience, following through with whatever God calls us to do REGARDLESS of our expectation of pain, suffering, discomfort, or the like. Here we see that result! Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit and began preaching!!! After obedience God is glorified because GENERALLY obedience is following through with something that God has planned to spread His Word.
However, notice that even though Saul was being obedient to God people still questioned how genuine he was. He was radically changed but people still looked on and wondered if this was true!! The humanity that we talked about a few devotions ago is clearly shining through this story too. Some people assume that if God were involved then everyone will be supportive or affirming. However, Christ was genuinely of God, He was telling the Truth and was killed. In the same way the Jews wanted to kill Saul. What we should notice so far is that when humans begin doing the work of God Satan prompts violence and oppression. We should notice that if we are doing something and it DOESN’T receive opposition it’s likely something that ISN’T from God. The pattern of Scripture is that anything prompted by God will receive great oppression.
Additionally some will assume that if we are on the run then we aren’t being confident in the Lord. Yet, we see the beginning of a story where Saul was fleeing oppression, yet still following God.
All of this to say: get rid of your old expectations. If you have created an expectation of God based upon something other than Scripture you likely need to refresh/change it. Look at Scripture and see how God’s plan and execution of said plan does NOT follow human logic. Not even close.
God thank You for being gracious to us when we doubt You. Thank You for looking past our inability to trust the plan You already wrote in Scripture. Help me to look upon Your Words and remember them so that when the world acts the way You said they would I will not be confused. Help me to remember You have said that they will reject us in the same way they rejected You: while doing everything right we can be treated so wrong.
Perhaps you’ve forgotten that we can see a glimpse of the world in ourselves and our friends as we/they trust our flesh. Do not attack your friends when they disagree or come against something that you think is of the Lord. Simply lay out your convictions and join them in prayer regarding the issue at hand.