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When analyzing the life of the apostle Paul, it seems that the reason why he experienced one of the most dramatic life changes in all of human history is simply because he did not merely lean on people for understanding. As we read today in Galatians 1:11-24, Paul’s full and complete dependence was on the person of Jesus and Him alone.
“Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.”
Galatians 1:11-12 NLT
Paul was the classic self-feeder. His ministry was 100 percent inspired by Jesus. He was not one to run to others when he needed advice. Instead, he went straight to the Source.
“But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being.”
Galatians 1:15-16 NLT
After all, the only explanation of how one converts from a murderer and adversary of the faith to a preacher of Christianity is the grace of God. And none of this surprised God at all–He knew from the very beginning that this was all going to happen and was excited to see Paul turn into one of the greatest Christians who lived.
“After that visit I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. And still the churches in Christ that are in Judea didn’t know me personally. All they knew was that people were saying, “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!” And they praised God because of me.”
Galatians 1:21-24 NLT
And people took notice of Paul’s conversion. The people of Judea were mesmerized. But they gave God all the glory for what He was doing through Paul.
The only reason why anyone is saved is because of the power of the Holy Spirit that enters a Christian when they are born again. When one turns from an abysmally sinful life to Christ (as we have seen happen here in Calvary Omaha a number of times this past year), we should give glory to Him alone. Then we should rely on Him alone to see that person grow and mature in Christ.
Do you depend on Jesus fully and completely for everything, or is your faith dependent on a mere earthly human, who will fail you all the time? While encouragement from people can be beneficial, in what situations do you tend to turn to human help before you turn to God? What steps can you take to move toward full dependence on God?