And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. (Acts 22:14-15 KJV)
In our last post few weeks ago, we left Paul standing before the group of men that wanted to kill him, and requesting that he be given the opportunity to address them. Like every other members of the early church, he had learnt the blessed art of leveraging opportunities in order to speak about what he believes in. Hence, when he requested to be allowed to speak to the mob, he was granted audience; and when they heard him speak Hebrews, they paid attention to him. Thus, Paul began the story of his conversion- a story of his previous walk in Jewish legalism and how he met Jesus of Nazareth on the way to Damascus, and how that altered his life and journeys forever. You can read up that story in Acts 21.
However, it is interesting to note that when Ananias came to pray for him to receive his sight, he also brought the word of the Lord concerning the destiny and purpose of Saul. He said that the Lord had appointed him to “know” what God’s will is, to “see” the Holy One, and to “hear” the voice of His mouth. That shows the tripartite dealing in Paul’s life. He was to:
Know God’s will;
See the Holy One;
Hear God’s Voice.
Why does he have to pass through all these experiences? Simply so that he can be a witness of the things he had heard, seen and known. A witness is not merely a preacher, he is one who (in some sense) underwent the processes and experiences which empowers him to speak authoritatively concerning an event or reality. Thus, the things Paul was going to experience were going to be his sounding board from which he was going to gain traction to witness fearlessly for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Never waste your trials. Never discountenance your experiences. With every single day that passes, and every challenge that you go through, God is giving you an opportunity to be a witness of His power, grace and mercy. Just like Paul was chosen to be a witness of the things he had seen and heard, so have you also been chosen to be a witness of our Lord Jesus Christ; and the making of a witness is in those things he is allowed to experience or pass through.
Do you know that even the mistakes you have made, and the bad choices you have made in times past can empower you to be a witness? I was speaking with someone recently about the processes of life. He was wondering whether the will of God for a man can be so that the man can make mistakes so that He can use that man’s life to teach others a lesson. I explained to him that God is a master chess player, there is no move that you make in this life that will throw Him off balance; He usually will find a way to make it work for the ultimate good- which is His glory. That is not to say that it was His will that you should make the move- NEVER! However, if you humble yourself in repentance and acknowledge your evil ways and choices, He knows how to maneuver your mistakes to serve His ultimate purpose.
This is how Paul was made a witness- through the things he had seen and heard. The more he knew God, the more he saw the Holy One (in the midst of his challenges), and the more he listened to the voice of His mouth, He was more than empowered to be a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
AND SO? What is it that you may be going through now? What mistakes have you made, and what things have happened to you currently? Have you learnt to see God in them? Have you know His will, and heard His voice concerning them? Do not waste your experiences. With each passing day, God is making you a voice- a witness to His purposes and power in this generation. But will you allow Him? Or will you be adamant and refuse to see Him in the midst of these experiences? The choice is yours, but that will determine whether you will be a witness for the Lord, or a mere onlooker in the whole journeys of life.