11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
21 Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.
“My immediate response was not to consult any human being.” I mentioned yesterday that we would be going through these verses again since there were a few things I wanted to point out. I heard a sermon on this verse when I was a teenager or preteen and it has stuck with me ever since. The point was: Paul didn’t interpret his encounter with God through human evaluation.
One of the biggest road blocks for experiencing a radical life like Paul had is our inclination to interpret everything through other people. We experience this grand revelation from God or maybe something smaller, maybe simply a desire to do something new. A desire to change your lifestyle towards something different. Yet when we begin to talk with others and realize it doesn’t perfectly line up with their thoughts. We begin to hear from other people that it isn’t what they would do, or we hear all the possible issues we will run into. Then the spark that God offered us to change things is quickly extinguished.
We need to realize that council is great, but people are wicked. If you are seeking to reach a new height with God and branch out into a supernatural, God powerful life you are going to need to seek God first. You need to spend time listening for God above people. You have to retrain your mind to hear Him speak and listen to it above man.
This doesn’t discount wise council, especially if you are immature in your faith. However, if you’ve heard something that lines up with Scripture, EVEN if it seems counter “church culture”, don’t allow other people to talk you out of it or talk you into a different version of it.
God help me to listen to You and hear You speak. Help me to receive the wisdom you offer me and not lay it against the world’s norm. Instead I pray that I can hear You speak and count it as the ultimate authority.
Be sure to not discourage people when they start talking about radical change for God. Unless it is not Biblical there shouldn’t be an issue. Instead motivate your friends and who ever else is willing to open up to you to seek God’s direction further and pray for help.