Scripture: “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days….Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us in now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me…Then after fourteen years (14 years!!) I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me…” Ga1 1:18-24 and Gal 2:2
Observation: I lose time when I read the Scriptures. It is imperative that reclaiming time helps me understand persevering to the End.
Application: There are times where starting at a new chapter leaves out juicy parts from the chapter before. Probably good to remember that chapters and verses were someone’s arbitrary thought and decision way back when…
3 years in Arabia/Damascus and then a 2 week visit with Peter (and a lunch or two with James perhaps). What did they visit about? Doesn’t quite say although a guess might be that Paul wanted to talk theology with Peter—bounce some germinating ideas off the guy who walked with Jesus.
Then leaving Peter (and James) Paul went off into Syria and Cilicia—a nobody, non-recognized person, incognito—and hung out 14 years before going back to Jerusalem to present a gospel.
Seventeen years! Seventeen! He toiled over writing up and preparing for a presentation to the main guys in Jerusalem concerning a theological position that would become the Gospel as it is known today.
Most folks are in a hurry today. 1 year, maybe 2 years is considered patience. “We have a lot of work to do quickly because Jesus is getting ready to blow the horn…” Certainly Paul understood that but also understood God’s Sovereignty concerning the harvest (what would become the Doctrine of Election). Maybe it was very important that, as Paul preached and taught throughout Syria/Cilicia, that he got the Foundations right.
I am no Paul but I feel that way too, about getting the Foundations right and, not just right in my head, but established in my heart and particularly in my walk—how I conduct myself daily and think and see everything through the Lens of the Gospel.
I am discovering that this isn’t a 1 hour lesson but has been a lifetime pursuit. Knowing Him is knowing about Him through His Word and that is breaking down everything I can into principles, precepts, doctrines. I have been at this for 45 years and will continue to pursue for the rest of my years.
“Taking the long view” is a concept of patience and perseverance I have been espousing for the past 20 years or so. It has been the best way to communicate waiting upon the Lord when talking about His pace of answering prayer.
Prayer: Lord, you know what I wait for. I don’t know if You will bring to fruition what I ask for but I continue to ask. While I wait, I continue walking worthy of the Gospel, never stopping, but putting one foot in front of the other, I pursue You all my days. AMEN.