REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Cami King who serves as associate pastor at Remnant Church in Manhattan, was first posted on April 6, 2014. Cami is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“Be Faithful When You are ‘Toiling’ in Obscurity”
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. 20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me. 2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me.
Did you know that Paul spent almost two decades in near obscurity after he was called by Jesus to take the Gospel to the Gentiles? Scholars estimate nearly 17 years between Paul’s road to Damascus experience and his being sent out by the Church to the Gentiles in Acts 13. And even biblical scholars have little idea as to what Paul was up to during that time. It’s probably fair to assume he was preaching the Gospel to anyone who would listen, but beyond that, little details are known. One thing that most likely took place during these 17 years is Paul’s extensive suffering recorded in 2 Corinthians 11:24-27.
Reading our passage for today, I was reminded of this reality: those who God calls often labor in obscurity and endure great suffering before they are fully launched into the work God has for them to do. This was true for Paul (along with Moses, Joseph, Abraham, David… the list goes on).
For some of us, we are aware of God’s calling but await an opportunity to carry it out. For others of us, we’re not sure how God wants to use us and are just waiting to hear his voice. Some of us have faithfully walked in the calling God has given us and wonder what wrong turn we took, as things are far more difficult than we imagined they’d be. Maybe some of us grew tired of waiting on God’s plan and we’ve come up with our own plans instead.
All throughout Scripture we find stories of those who God has called and subsequently led into a season of waiting (often very painful waiting) before the fullness of His promises are realized in their lives. But it’s a rich season where valuable lessons are learned, priceless refining takes place, and precious intimacy with God is developed.
Are you in a season of waiting? My encouragement is to take heart! God is certainly at work! Continue to seek the Lord and trust that He will complete what He started. Be alert for the things God is teaching you and the ways He is refining you. And be thankful, because you are not alone; in all of these stories, God does exceedingly and abundantly beyond what we can ask, think, or imagine.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the opportunity to serve wherever I am placed. Help me to be faithful in doing the small things to advance Your kingdom. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 14-15