I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus. Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him for fifteen days. I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only heard the report:” The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they praised God because of me. (Galatians 1:17-24)
When God revealed his son to me, my heart changed, but my actions didn’t. I failed to consult him and continued to seek my own will and love in unlovable circumstances, resulting in a failed marriage, a failed college experience, and many bad memories.
After God reveals his son, our hearts change, but sometimes our actions don’t. We can’t glorify God until we humble ourselves and consult him. Until we can project that Jesus lives inside of us, it’s not a bad idea to obscure our personal lives as Paul did in the deserts of Arabia and Syria.
God utilized the tranquility of remoteness to change Paul’s mind and behaviors. He still used Paul to minister, but few saw his lingering old-self actions not worthy of praise. Most only heard the report that he preached the faith that he once destroyed. By listening to God, Paul’s conversion exalted him.
Do you seek God’s help to eliminate negative traits and habits to glorify God?
Father, I praise you for changing my heart. Help me through __________so my anger and anxiety will decrease, and I can project your joy and love. Bind me closer to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.