Galatians 1:17 (GNT) Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.
The apostle Paul tells us in the first chapter of Galatians some of the facts surrounding his own conversion. He tells us that he clearly understood the call Jesus placed on his life. He did not have to consult other men about this calling. But before he was released to begin his own mission, He went to Arabia for three years. Why did Paul have to go to Arabia for three years before he ever met another disciple of Jesus Christ?
The Scripture does not tell us plainly why Paul spent three years in Arabia. However, based upon many examples of God placing special calls on people’s lives, we know it often requires a time of separation between the old life and the new life. No doubt, Paul had plenty of time to consider what had taken place in his life and time to develop an intimate knowledge and relationship with the Lord. His life was about to change dramatically forever!
So often, when God places a call on one of His children, it requires a separation between the old life and the new life. There is a time of being away from the old in order to prepare the heart for what is coming. It can be a painful and difficult separation. Joseph was separated from his family. Jacob was sent to live with his uncle Laban. Moses was sent to the desert. When God began a deeper work in my own life, it required a separation from all I had known before. He removed all that I had placed confidence in up to that point. It was very painful and very scary since I was in my mid-40’s. In my mind, it was not the time to start life over. I had been making plans for early different plans with my life. God had a different idea. The Lord had go back to school and removed all my comforts and security in order to accomplish a much greater work than what I could see at the time. The picture is clear now. I understand why it was necessary, but I didn’t at the time.
Point to ponder- Perhaps God has placed you in your own desert period. Perhaps you cannot make sense of the situation in which you find yourself. God may have a special calling and message He is building in your life right now. Trust in His love for you that He will fully complete the work He has started in you.
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Pastor James Baker, Jr.
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