Tear Down the Walls: Galatians Part 1
Find a quiet place, free of distractions (or as close to it as possible) and take 5 deep breaths. God wants to speak to you . . .
This week we are getting to know the person of Paul a bit more. Paul, a Pharisee among Pharisees, had an upbringing that would make him acutely aware of the narrative of the Old Testament. For us, skipping a few chapters through Leviticus or Numbers may not be the end of the world; however, for Paul, a good young Jewish boy, he would have had the first five books of the Bible (Pentateuch) memorized.
Paul had dedication, or ZEAL. He was passionate about his studies about the One True God and His intersection with history. He would have to be. To be a Pharisee meant YEARS of memorization, not just for head knowledge’s sake, but to embody the commands of God so that God would come back and rescue his people. This ZEAL, though misguided at times, (as in persecuting and killing Christians), would also be the seedbed for Paul to be able to understand the need and the mission of Jesus. God would use the passion of Paul to unfold the Kingdom of God on Earth as it is in Heaven.
As a Freshman in High School, I picked up the guitar for the very first time. Actually, a friend of mine was learning how to play and gave me his old guitar after he received a functioning instrument for his birthday. During my High School years, Green Day, Weezer, and Eric Clapton would be under my fingers. Notes turned into chords and chords turned into songs, as I dedicated hours to learning how to play this six stringed wooden instrument. I thought the guitar might lead to a band, or a girlfriend at the very least; I had no idea how God would use this passion for music and the guitar to help me and others worship the One True God. After Jesus met me on my “Road to Damascus” (the smelly youth room of a converted Baptist Church), my passion for music was quickly put to work on our Worship Team, helping to lead others in praise and song. Still to this day, I get the opportunity to play an instrument and help lead others to experience the God who still meets people right in the middle of their everyday lives.
God, who “knitted us together in our mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13), has formed us, and certainly our passions, to be used for the sake of the Kingdom. How exciting!
A few questions for reflection . . .
What are you passionate about? Is it a cause, a hobby, or a mission? Take some time to consider how God has knit YOU together even before you were born.
How might God want to redeem and/or utilize your passion? Spend the day paying attention to anything the Holy Spirit might speak to you.