“I was not disobedient to the vision…” (Acts 26:19).
After giving his testimony, this is the conclusion of Paul’s defense and explanation to King Agrippa. And I can’t help but see the importance of this statement.
Two scenarios come to mind: One, what if Paul had not obeyed what Jesus told him to do? We wouldn’t have the Bible in the full context we so treasure today. Or two, knowing God doesn’t leave gaps and would have found another person to fulfill His instructions, what if two-thirds of the New Testament was written by the Apostle Thaddeus, or Hiram, or Jonas? (just sounds weird, doesn’t it?)
And if we extend that same line of thinking throughout the Bible, what if Moses didn’t obey God’s instructions to go to Pharaoh? Or what if David didn’t obey the Holy Spirit’s leading to go to his brothers in the battle against Goliath and the Philistines? Or what if any one of the disciples hadn’t followed Jesus when he beckoned them?
Whole destinies would have been altered by one person’s disobedience.
AND YET, I dare say they have been already. You and I have no idea how many people missed their opportunity to obey God and were never mentioned in the Bible because of it.
So what about the rest of us?
What if I wasn’t obedient to the vision God has given me for my life? What if you ignore the pricking in your heart to obey God? We can be sure God will get the task done– but personally, I’d prefer my assignment be done through me and not someone else in my place.
At the end of 2000, I had just finished giving my testimony and teaching on righteousness at a women’s conference when God spoke to my heart. He said, “Write it down and I’ll put it in the hands of people you’ll never meet.” I knew what He meant but I questioned my own ability, so I did nothing. Eighteen months later, God gave me one last chance. While at a pastors conference, my husband and I had just heard an inspiring message on faith and obedience. As all of us lifted our hands and praised God for all He was doing in our lives, God spoke to me again. But this time, He said, “If you won’t do it, I’ll find someone who will.”
I knew what He was talking about. I hadn’t forgotten His instruction. I’d just been running from it. Right there, I broke down, realizing fear and insecurity had held me back from stepping into God’s divine plan for my life. I immediately repented and made some extreme life changes to obey. In myself, I felt inadequate for the task. But I wasn’t alone… Moses, Abraham, David, Peter, and many more, felt the same way before God turned their inadequacies into greatness.
I have never regretted my decision to obey. In fact, I can’t imagine my life any other way. What I know for sure is, I’m grateful. God was merciful and offered me a second chance. He saw more in me than I saw in myself.
“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19).
I don’t know what God has told you to do, but I promise you won’t regret obeying Him. In fact, I sincerely hope you accomplish everything He has planned because the world needs you to…