Scripture: (Paul speaking), “As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
And I answered, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said to me, “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.” …” What shall I do, Lord?” And the Lord said to me, “Rise and go into Damascus and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.”
And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus.
And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well-spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me and standing by me said to me, “Brother Saul, receive your sight.” …And he said, “The God of our fathers appointed you to know His Will…” Acts 22:6-14a
Observation: Is Paul the only one appointed to “know His Will?” Of course not.
Analysis: Paul is relating his Damascus story from Acts 9. Cool story and he has condensed it well.
The one phrase that caught my eye today is the “God of our fathers appointed you to know His Will.”
Now, why couldn’t I have condensed this journal entry concerning the scripture reference to these 10 words? It would have saved me a lot of keystrokes…and you know what they say: “A keystroke saved is a keystroke for another day.”
Nobody says that.
Condensing Scripture to bite sized morsels can lead to all sorts of untoward things. The worse is taking verses or sentences out of context. The real bad thing is weaponizing these out-of-context verses and making “scripture bullets” or “bible-bombs” out of them.
Disciples are appointed by God to “know his will” just like Paul. Disciples are directed love His Word.
As I was growing up as a new Christian, memorization was all the rage. Still is, I will bet. I can’t knock it, it was good for me and good for many others. But memorization alone is like elementary school math: I can know my numbers and count to 100, and in a year, I will know that 1+1=2. Another year and I will be doing fractions and multiplication/division and in 7-8 short years, if all goes right, I will start algebra and into all sorts of heady and exciting knowledge about math.
And that started with counting to 100.
Why don’t I have that same opportunity with “Knowing His Will?” Facts are, I do have that opportunity, only it takes effort to want to learn. It is more that memorizing Scripture, it is finding out how all the disparate scripture references fit together in the Gospel.
As knowledge grows and is more accurately compounded during the school years, it follows that it is the same with biblical maturity in the Scriptures. All it takes is a determined approach…
Prayer: Lord Jesus. I have for so long skipped over the years of duration references especially in the New Testament. You provide, through various instruments of Grace, opportunities for growth and understanding, different from the “actual experiences” of putting such knowledge into action. Help me to become step by step deeper into “knowing your will.” AMEN