Will show

“for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”  Acts 9:16

Will show – The man or woman of God is often one most acutely aware of personal inner failings and struggles.  Holiness is not a state that we will ever achieve.  The closer we draw toward Him, the more we see our unworthiness.  There is a spiritual agony that accompanies joyful entry into God’s presence.  It is the secret revelation of personal suffering.  And in that secret is God’s stamp of approval.

The risen Jesus told Ananias to go to Saul, blinded from the Damascus road experience.  Ananias complained.  “Lord, this man seeks to kill your followers.”  Jesus replied that Saul was a chosen instrument.  But Saul’s choosing meant a private agony that he would bear the rest of his life.  He would suffer much for Christ at the hands of men.  But he would suffer more for the persecution he brought on himself.  He would remember what he did before the Lord struck him down on that desolate road.

The word hupodeigma carries a subtle nuance.  This is not “show and tell” time.  By adding the prefix hupo, the word is altered to mean, “show in secret”.  Jesus is about to show Saul something privately.  He will show Saul the path that lies ahead and then he will invite Saul to follow it.  Along the way, Saul will become a different man; a man named Paul, the greatest missionary the church has ever known.  But that missionary zeal begins right here – in the revelation of what must be endured.  Saul is not being punished in what lies ahead. The experiences that are to come are the validation that Saul is Jesus’ chosen emissary. 

Did you think that Jesus called you to the “good life”?  Did you think that your Christian destiny is to have a big bank account, a new car, a nice home and a comfy job?  When did God decide to accommodate His plans to the American version of luxury?  Jesus will come to you in private and reveal to you a road ahead that will certainly involve endurance.  Did you expect your path to be cushioned or were you ready to follow your Master?  Don’t despair!  Jesus will never leave you.  He will always guide you.  The Spirit will strengthen you.  God wants you to succeed – His way.  But be ready.  The fist step is the revelation of the cost of following.  If you haven’t looked into the eyes of Jesus and seen the face of the suffering servant, you might want to ask whom you’re following

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