[The Lord speaking to Paul] "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 of me and what I will show you. 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."
Thoughts for Today:We just completed a four part series titled "4 Steps to Recovery." If you've been feeling a little down and out lately -- then this has been a series for you. I thought it would be a good idea to take some time to review the 4 steps so we have ourselves positioned properly to return to God's plan for our lives. Previously we discussed:
Step 1: Now Get Up.
God's first word of instruction to us -- it's hard to see Him and His solution, if we let our problems cripple us. We need to stop looking back at what we've lost and instead (as Paul said) "forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead."
Step 2: Divine Appearance and Appointment.
When we are serving Him and witnessing to others, then our focus is upon the Lord -- not on our own problems. When our heart is centered on what He has done for us it is so much easier for us to see what He is doing and what He has planned.
Step 3: The Lord's Rescue Plan.
Follow the Lord's plan even if it seems too simple and easy. Remember it is God's plan, not ours, and God uses ordinary people and commonplace events to accomplish some pretty amazing things. We shouldn't decline an offer to be rescued just because it doesn't fit within our expectations.
Step 4: Our Purpose Found in Him.
When our eyes are open to sin (which the previous 3 steps allow us to see with greater clarity), then we are able to turn from darkness to light (from the power of Satan to God). It's a choice we all must make either we cave into the darkness of depression, despair and hopelessness, or turn to the light and our hope of glory in Christ Jesus.
Questions to Ponder:Every road, every step to recovery from a knock down event in life is littered with choices we must make, but truly there are only two -- either follow God or Satan. In Step 1 our choice is to either stay down and succumb to our perceived defeat or get up and follow God; Step 2 we acknowledge we will serve someone -- either we choose God or Satan; in Step 3 we allow God to rescue us His way or we ignore Him; and finally in Step 4 as the Holy Spirit reveals sin to us in our own lives, we have a another choice to make -- cave in to the darkness or turn to God. These are decisions that can't be postponed or procrastinated over, because if we don't make a conscious decision to choose God then our sinful nature makes the choice for us. Which will you choose today?