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Berni - ceo, Christianityworks

Left on the Shelf

Galatians 1:15-17 But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.

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Left on the Shelf


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Sometimes it feels as though nothing’s happening. Nothing. So, what? Has God forgotten me? Has He left me on the shelf?

We all want to feel as though God has some great plan for our lives. So in those months, even years, when nothing much seems to be happening, it can be terribly disheartening.

Jesus: I came to set the captives free.

You: Yeah right! Well, it feels like you’ve forgotten me!

Other people seem to be powering on. You on the other hand, feel as though there’s nothing really exciting ahead.

Saul is on the road to Damascus, off to persecute some more Christians. He meets Jesus along the way – that’s exciting – but then, He loses his sight and for three days he’s completely blind.

Now that doesn’t sound such a long time, unless you’ve been struck blind, in which case it probably feels like an eternity. Adversity has a way of doing that.

Which is why, when you feel as though you’ve been left on the shelf, it seems like an eternity. Am I right?

“Freedom, what’s that?!” you ask yourself in the prison of your inactivity.

When we get to that point, there is something we need to be reminded of. It’s what Paul says of himself, in his letter to the churches in Galatia:

Galatians 1:15-17 But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.

In other words, God already had a plan for Paul, even before he was born. Along the way, people tried to kill the guy; they rioted against him; he was imprisoned, beaten, shipwrecked, bitten by a viper of all things and eventually rotted out the remainder of his days in a Roman dungeon on death row.

But that powerful encounter with Jesus, that incredible revelation of Christ Himself when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus … that changed everything.

Because no matter how dire his circumstances became, he knew that God had a plan. So in the middle of those difficult circumstances, Paul had … the freedom that Jesus promised!

You know, God still has a plan. A plan for you. For today, tomorrow, next month, next year and indeed for the rest of your time on this earth. He hasn’t forgotten you. He hasn’t lost the plot. God has a plan.

And that fact gives you freedom, even if you’ve been locked away in a dungeon, or forgotten on a shelf.

There you have it. God’s Word …

Fresh … for you … today.


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