“Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath. He was eager to destroy the Lord’s followers, so he went to the High Priest.”
(Acts 9:1 NLT)
Here are my Top 3 Reasons to Use Google (drumroll please….):
- To prove to my kids that I know stuff.
- To satisfy curiosity about random topics.
- To learn enough about a couple major interests so that I can incorporate them into my life more.
Category #1 is for pretending I still remember how to find the area of a triangle. (I obviously don’t want to get stuck saying, “It’s blah blah-blah mathy words with some alphabet and number references!”)
Category #2 exists just outside the mathy arena. There are a couple of things that I am interested in and have researched just enough to have a short intelligent conversation about. Politics, finances, food, health… the list is endless.
Category #3 involves the one or two interests that I would potentially turn into a career. These are things that I’m really, really passionate about, that I’ve taken the time to research well and am an active advocate of. WARNING: These are the topics that I get on soap boxes about or get a little stubborn about being corrected on.
This might sound a little crazy but I wonder sometimes if Saul put his Christian-killing mission in category #3. (Hear me out here…) Saul was a well-researched guy who knew his stuff. He really felt strongly that these Jesus-followers were against God. He made it his mission to get rid of them. He even had the support of the Jewish high council. After Stephen – a follower of Jesus – was stoned to death at Saul’s feet, Saul became the Jewish poster child for Christian killing. He was sure he was doing the right thing.
Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath. He was eager to destroy the Lord’s followers, so he went to the high priest. He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them – both men and women – back to Jerusalem in chains. (Acts 9:1-2 NLT)
Saul believed he was doing the Lord’s work. But before Saul began uttering threats and eagerly destroying, he should’ve checked with the Lord. He may have had man’s approval, but he didn’t have God’s. If you’ve ever read the account of Saul in Acts 9 then you know that, after just one close encounter with God, he had quite the paradigm shift.
It got me thinking about me and my “expertise” and passion. Is there anything in my life that I’m “sure of” and passionate about? Maybe I’ve even gotten wisdom about those topics from well-respected Christian men and women in my life. Maybe I’m on quite the rampage about it. But have I talked to God about it to find out what he thinks about my soap box position? Do I have confirmation from scripture and prayer that my “crusade” is aligned with God’s will for my life?
Maybe I’d better pause and check in with God before I need the kind of wake-up call Saul got.
Pray: Dear Lord, you know my heart. You also know how easy it is for me to forget that it’s YOUR will and YOUR mission that my life exists for. Help me to take the time to learn all I can about your truth and your love and your grace so that I can shine that light in my life. Keep my will and passion aligned with yours. Amen.