Wednesday, November 12, 2014
It is one thing to hear a great orator speak on any topic and be convinced or swayed on the idea presented. It is a similar thing to have a wonderful word-smith convince or prove his viewpoint(s) should be yours. But there is a totally different power behind a speaker or author who has experienced what they are convincing you about. I see Paul fitting into this last category as he says in Romans 8:38-39 - I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul went through much hardship in his adult years. His suffering for Christ's sake was even foretold from the get-go to Ananias by The Lord - But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." (Acts 9:15-16) However, it is not just his spoken words that I am sure gave people inspiration. It is not just his and The Holy Spirit's written words that brought many direction and enlightenment. But when I observe Paul's life and hear him say - "I am convinced" - I know that life is the instrument and God is the Teacher of what I am to be convinced.
I believe Paul's first encounter with The Lord was so powerful that the experience shook him to the core. The encounter was unforgettable. The extra is that God did not leave Paul with that awesome conversion experience to get through the rest of life. God promised sufferings for His name would come Paul's way and they did. But God.....saw Paul through each one, even the one calling him home to Heaven.
There have been several Convincings in my life to reflect on and He continues to assure me of His love and care. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Are you convinced or being convinced also? I desire greatly to arrive where Paul did and say with ALL of my mind, heart, soul, and strength......."I am convinced..."