We still have the privilege of teaching a bible study at the retirement home where my parents lived for seven years. Even though my parents are gone from there, the Lord has made it clear that this ministry shall continue, and we have about 15 faithful students, most of them in their 80s and 90s. They participate with much enthusiastic discussion and it is a profound blessing to see that well into the last days of our lives we can continue learning and growing in the Word of God!
We are in the book of Acts right now, and when I got to Acts 9:6, a question of my own heart was answered. In the midst of his supernatural encounter with the living Messiah, Shaul (Paul) falls to the ground in fear and asks, "Who are you, Lord?" Messiah Yeshua answers, "I AM Yeshua, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do" (Acts 9:4-6).
What follows is not an all-encompassing layout of the plan for Paul's ministry. The Lord does not sit him down and give him every step of his journey and tell him what the full plan is for his life! He gives him one first step: "Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do." As Paul is obedient to this initial direction to go into the city, blinded by the Light of his heavenly encounter and led by the hand of others, he is then given more steps, one at a time, until the fullness of his ministry is finally revealed to him. Note that these initial steps involve meeting and interacting with others of the faith. Paul stays in Damascus, not eating or drinking for three days (Acts 9:9) and then Yeshua gives direction to a man named Ananias to go to the house where Paul is and lay his hands on Paul, that his sight might be restored.
Notice that Yeshua chooses to use another human being to restore Paul's sight. What a clear illustration that as the Lord gives us direction, He will use others to come into our lives and help us see and understand more clearly! One step at a time, one person or couple at a time, He weaves His master plan for each of us to get the guidance and direction we seek, and to cause us to interact with one another to accomplish His purposes. Our part in all this is to "get up and go into the city," which means that we are only going to get one piece of the puzzle at a time. Our obedience to put that piece in place will get us to the next piece. Our longing to know the Lord and to serve Him will lead us to the next person in the network, and that person may be the one who will lay hands on us by the direction of the Holy Spirit, and give us the anointing and the direction for the next step.
This has all been marvelously modeled for us in the past two months, as the Father has brought entirely new people into our lives who have connected many "dots" for us. As we have continued to ask the question Paul must have asked, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" the Lord has most unexpectedly brought the people who could help remove the scales from our eyes and give us sight and understanding for the next step; but each of these steps takes us a little closer to the very FIRST question Paul asked the Lord: "Who are You, Lord?"
Knowing Him - Yeshua - the Messiah, the Creator of the Universe, the Redeemer of our souls - is the ultimate goal. Knowing Him intimately is the goal of each step we take, each dot we connect, each person He sends to tell us what we can do to serve Him.
Kelly Ferrari Mills