Yesterday morning, I put some of my daughter’s belongings on the floor. When she came into the room, she just stood there like she couldn’t get to the other side. From where I was standing, it looked simple and easy to me. She had a choice to either go around it or go over it, but maybe she couldn’t see this from where she was standing. (Sometimes you have to change your position). When I got tired of her standing there, I finally said, There is nothing stopping you.
Apostle Paul knew what he used to be. I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man (1 Timothy 1:13). And he knew that people didn’t forget what he did. Lord, these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you (Acts 22:19). He even consented to Stephen’s death, but he didn’t allow what he used to be to stop him from becoming what he would be.
He was a Pharisee (Acts 26:5), very intelligent and didn’t lack knowledge, but God didn’t want him and He doesn’t want us to be people who study the word, but yet refuse to become what we read about. You study the scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very scriptures that testify of me yet you refuse to come to me to have life (John 5:39-40).
To many, Paul was a horrible person, but God knew that what he did was out of ignorance and unbelief (1 Timothy 1:13). Inside of Paul was the wheat and tares and God allowed them to grow together, but at the right time He showed mercy and separated them. People may have counted him out, but God counted him faithful, putting him in the ministry (1 Timothy 1:12). After all the awful things he had done to God’s people, Paul didn’t think he deserved to be called an apostle, but by the grace of God I am what I am (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Are you still trying to figure out what kind of life you should live? Well, God wants you to live a life that pleases Him and that will reveal His Son to others. This is why it’s never good to compare your life with the lives of others or to wish to be someone other than who God created you to be. 2 Corinthians 10:12 tells us that whoever compares themselves to another are without understanding and are not wise. There is nothing wrong with desiring more in life, but those things that you are lusting after doesn’t make you great. You will never find greatness outside of you because it is already in you. Greater is He that is in you.
Comparing can make you feel bad about yourself. It steals your joy. It makes you feel like you’re losing while everyone else is winning. When you don’t know what you should be doing, it’s easy to become angry with those who are doing. Instead of trying to become what you think people want you to be, ask God the same question Paul asked Christ – What will you have me to do?
Comparing also reveals how ungrateful we are and that we really don’t like God’s plan for our lives, but despite how you feel, God still loves you and although you can’t see it right now, His plan for you is good. It’s all about how you see yourself and this is the area that the enemy attacks a lot of us in. He wants you to see yourself as a grasshopper even though there is a Giant in you. You may think that you are a mess or just like my daughter, all you can see is a mess before you, but God can turn your mess into a message. He will give you grace to get to the other side and He will even tell you in bits and pieces how to get there. When Paul asked Jesus what he wanted him to do, Jesus didn’t tell him everything at first. He told him to go to the city and once he obeyed that instruction, then He would tell him what to do next (Acts 9:6). Don’t think God isn’t doing anything. He is doing what He said, but He’s not doing it all at once. He is doing it in stages. Stages are steps of a process. Each step is maturing and developing you and proving you trustworthy and faithful to the call.
Just like Paul, God wants to make you a witness for Him. Do you remember the woman at the well? Many of the Samaritans believed because of her testimony. Yes, the enemy will send things to stop you from becoming what God separated and called you to be, but even what he sends can’t stop you. Sometimes it is what you think about yourself that stops you, but think yourself victorious. You may have failed in certain areas, but you are not a failure. Let your past (even the tares) be a testimony to many that God not only changed you, but He can change them, too. You have a bright future ahead of you because the blood of Jesus has separated you from your past. You know what that means? Not even your past can stop you! So let us thank God that He didn’t erase our future because of our past, but that He erased our past because of our future.
There is nothing stopping you.