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His testimony was radical. His transformation was dramatic. His passion was dauntless. His words were persuasive. His impact on the world was momentous. Who was he? He was one of the greatest missionaries to ever live: The apostle Paul.
I love the book of Acts. It's filled with rise of God's Church, the spread of the gospel, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. In it, I clearly see the strength, courage, faith, and passion of Paul. (He's probably my favorite Bible character.)
Subconsciously, however, I think I often elevate Paul in my mind to some "super-Christian" who had an extra dose of boldness from God. Seriously. He spend his life preaching the gospel, building churches, and encouraging believers. He was beaten multiple times and left for dead and performed many miracles by the power of God.
Paul may have been one of the most influential people for Christ, but it wasn't because he was amazingly gifted (or because he was a "super-Christian"). Only by the power of God did Paul accomplish what he did. It was God's power in his life that enabled Paul to change the world. The truth is, the same God that dwelt in Paul dwells in me.
Just as Paul was merely a vessel of God, I am merely a vessel of God as well. (Okay, I am just blown away by what this means for every believer!) What if we really believed that we have the very same God that Paul had? What if we actually lived like the infinite, all-powerful God dwelt in us? Can you imagine what God would do if every Christian lived like they had been "crucified with Christ," and if they counted all things as "loss" for the sake of knowing Christ?
I can say that I "know" that God dwells in me... but do I really live like it? Why is it that God's power doesn't seem to be very evident in my life? While I'm sure there are several answers to this question, I've come to this conclusion: I have settled for less than God has for me. I'm content with just "good-enough." Since no one seems to expect anything of great significance, I don't strive for excellence in my life. When I treat God as a separate part of my life, His power is not so clearly displayed in me.
Although I may not be called to preach the gospel in the streets of every city I encounter (like Paul did), God's power should be evident in my life. But I have to die to myself so that God can live in me. He can't work if I don't move.
It's time for me to get out of my comfortable chair of Complacency and live a life of continual striving after God.
Why would I settle for less when He has so much more for me?