15. “But the Lord said to him (Ananias), “Go, for he (Paul) is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.
16. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
• Jesus knew Paul’s assignment before He sent him out. He knew Paul would be aggressive about spreading the gospel.
- The Lord in a vision told Ananias beforehand, a certain disciple who was sent to pray for Paul to receive his sight and baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:10-19) that:
~ Paul was a chosen vessel of the Lord, to bear His name before the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel (Acts 9:15).
~ Paul was to suffer for Christ’s name (Acts 9:16).
• How your ministry would be, the details of your assignment, is known by God; the reason why you need to follow Him, allow Him to lead you a step at at a time–that you do not go ahead of Him.
- When you go ahead of God: you muddle up, put things in the wrong order, mix up the plans and programmes of God about your life (Acts 7:23-30).
- Moses probably perceived that God was going to use him to liberate his people, the Israelites (Hebrews 11:24-27). He went ahead of God, he muddled up the plan of God for his life by killing an Egyptian. He wanted to do it in his own way (Exodus 2:11-15).
“Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land.”
• The vision about Paul’s life and ministry eventually came to fulfilment–God orchestrated things that happened in his life.
- God is not the author of confusion but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). He is all knowing, He knows how events will unfold in the course of your ministry life.
- It was said in the vision that Paul would minister to the Gentiles, kings, and the Israelites. In other words, the grace to minister to different classes of society was on Paul.
19. “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;
20. and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;
21. to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;
22. to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
1 Corinthians 9:19-22(NKJV)
• God has deposited different grace, anointing, in each minister of His.
7. “But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter
8. (FOR HE WHO WORKED EFFECTIVELY IN PETER FOR THE APOSTLESHIP TO THE CIRCUMCISED ALSO WORKED EFFECTIVELY IN ME TOWARD THE GENTILES),
9. and when James, Cephas (Peter), and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.”
- The grace to minister to kings was on Paul; even when he did not agitate for it, God worked it that Paul ministered before great and prominent people of his day: Governor Felix (Acts 24:10-25); Governor Festus and King Agrippa (Acts 26:1-30); even at Rome before the Emperor, Ceaser (Acts 23:11; 25:11, 21; 27:24).
- Also in Athens, Paul spoke before the most learned society of philosophers, the Areopagus–the top, higher echelons in the society (Acts 18:17,22-32).
- It was already spoken of him in the vision that Jesus gave to him, and the one given to Ananias. The script of his life was written by God, Paul was just acting it out (Acts 9:15; 26:13-18).
• Whatever God has spoken about your life and ministry will eventually come to pass–if you cooperate and submit to Him.
- Submission to God’s will is the major condition for the fulfilment of whatever God has spoken about you.
- As you follow God, the plans He has for you would be unfolded one after the other.
• God has equipped you for a particular purpose, that is, an assignment.
- You must know the spiritual equipment in your life. It is not always right or correct to copy other people in ministry work.
- Know what God has called you to do, what He equipped you to do, and stay focus on it.
• There is an anointing to minister to different classes of people in the society.
- If the anointing to minister to the people at higher echelons in the society is not on your life, there is no point trying to do it.
- Some are anointed to minister in the remotest areas, they are called to cross-cultural mission.
- If someone or another do not have the grace, ability, to do what you are doing, you should not look down on them or degrade them (1 Corinthians 4:7).
- Everybody works with the grace given to them by God (Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 4:6,7).
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, BUT IN LOWLINESS OF MIND LET EACH ESTEEM OTHERS BETTER THAN HIMSELF.”
• You will not fail in Jesus’ name.