Acts 22 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“After I had returned to Jerusalem, it happened that as I was praying in the Temple, I went into a trance, and I saw Yeshua ‘Hurry!’ he said to me, ‘Get out of Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept what you have to say about me.’ I said, ‘L_rd, they know themselves that in every synagogue I used to imprison and flog those who trusted in You; also that when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I was standing there too, in full agreement; I was even looking after the clothes of the ones who were killing him!’ But He said, ‘Get going! For I am sending you far away – to the Goyim! (Gentiles)” Acts 22:17-21
I was in college when I began following Yeshua. I was also a member of a Greek fraternity on campus. Shortly after my salvation, I began sharing the gospel with members of my fraternity. I was zealous and confrontational, which made me completely obnoxious to everyone! I really believed my friends would see my new life, compare it to my former “worldly” life, and they would convert based on my transformation.
As it turned out, my friends weren’t interested in my gospel presentation. Word of my conversion spread, and I slowly found myself the outside of our “fraternal” social circle. I had always been in the center of that scene…now I was an outsider. I could not understand why they rejected my testimony about Yeshua.
Then, I began thinking about what was happening. In the words of John Mayer, “Maybe it’s got nothin’ to do with me.” Perhaps, my friends simply didn’t want to be confronted with the truth about Yeshua…no matter who delivered it.
After that experience, I couldn’t imagine leading anyone to Yeshua! But G_d had a different plan.
As with the Apostle Paul, the L_rd had me leave my “Jerusalem”. That is, I left college and that initial evangelism experience behind. But those early “seeds” of the gospel did not all go to waste. Over the years, several of my old fraternity brothers have shared how my testimony played a distinct role in their salvation.
It is good to be zealous, but zealousness without submission to G_d’s authority and direction leads to trouble. When we place zeal under submission, the Bible calls that “meekness”. A horse becomes useful to the rider when it is made meek to the bridle. Likewise, we become useful to G_d when we submit to His plan for us. Paul submitted to G_d’s plan, and just look how He used him! The L_rd wants to do mighty things through you, as well. Are you willing to surrender to His will and His leading?
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Thursday, August 8, 2013