15-18 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of Me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”
Acts 26:15-18 (NIV)
So much of good play in basketball demands that those on the court “play on a string.” That means that when the ball moves, they move. They play connected, like a string was linking them all together.
The same is true with God and us. When He moves, we should too. So let’s take a look at the ways God moves in today’s Scripture and prompt ourselves to move beautifully in sync with Him.
GOD APPEARS: God’s appearances in life are impressive. All history is dotted with them: recurring rainbows, a burning bush, a Red Sea deliverance, a Messiah come, Jesus crucified and risen, and oodles more. His personal, inner invasions of human hearts by His Spirit are striking too.
He appears not only to command our attention but to invoke our worship, build our trust and have our obedience. Worship, trust and obedience are to be the moves we make whenever He appears.
GOD APPOINTS: When God created man He had mission in mind for us. Paul knew this. Do you? He appointed Paul as a servant and witness.
This legendary leader was asked to serve and bear testimony to Someone greater. All who follow Him are appointed to do the same, to serve and witness.
GOD RESCUES: Life is hard. There are times we all need to be rescued. God is committed both to our eternal rescue and our situational rescue here on earth. He reaches out to rescue. Our move is to welcome His rescue and reach back (Philippians 3:12).
GOD SENDS: God doesn’t just appoint us to missions and step back uninvolved. He doesn’t just deliver us from something; He delivers us to something. He sends, He ushers, He directs, He goes with us (Deuteronomy 31:8).
Paul was specifically sent to both Jews and Gentiles, and God paved the way. Our move is to go with Him fearlessly, faithfully.
GOD PREPARES: Scripture repeatedly says that He is preparing an eternal, magnificent place for us (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 2:9). He has also prepared for our forever forgiveness through His crucified Son (1 John 1:7, 9). Our move is to gratefully receive and faithfully honor these priceless gifts (2 Corinthians 5:15).
GOD SANCTIFIES: This means God grows and matures us. He’s committed to coach us to a higher level of play. He wants more for us than just making heaven’s roster. His game plan is to make us like His Son, loaded and equipped for powerful playing time now (Romans 8:29).
So His sanctifying commitment to us is sweet, strong and relentless. Knowing this, our response must be the same, demonstrating faith in His good coaching and consistent coachability. (Check out the moves we make in tandem with God in Philippians 2:12,13)
God appears, appoints, rescues, sends, prepares and sanctifies. Paul knew this and moved accordingly.
Reflect: How are you knowing and moving with God? Are you on a string with Him? Have you received God’s gift of sins forgiven and promise of eternal residence with Him through Christ? Are you honoring this gift through your life?
By faith, in what life area are you trusting God to further sanctify/grow/mature you?
A prayer to consider: Father in Heaven, thank You for every moment where You have powerfully showed up in our world. I see You everywhere. What a blessed, game-changing force You are!
Keep showing up before me, in me, through me. Remind me of my royal appointments and real rescues. Send me forth on mission with You.
I treasure Your perfecting work, hope of heaven, full forgiveness and good coaching in me. Coach me hard to play on a string with You. I am Your servant and witness. Amen.