“I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision” (ACTS 26:19).
Paul’s journey in life was different (and at times, lonely) because his vision was different. Paul SAW what others did not see. He HEARD what others did not hear. He FELT what others did not feel. And because of this, Paul WENT where others refused to GO and DID what others refused to DO!
Because Paul was willing to GO where others refused to GO and DO what others refused to DO, Paul accomplished what few have ever accomplished for Christ and the cause of Christ in his world!
It has often been said, “What we believe determines how we behave.” By the way, not simply what we say we believe, but what we truly believe. I read these words just this morning:
“The thing is, ignorance is rarely the problem. The challenge is that people don’t always care about what you care about. And the reason they don’t care isn’t that they don’t know what you know. The reason is that they don’t believe what you believe.”
When it comes to Paul and what he believed and how it determined his behavior, especially concerning the Great Commission, I am reminded of the words of C.T. Studd who once wrote:
Did I firmly believe, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, religion would mean to me everything. I would cast away earthly enjoyment as dross, earthly cares as follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought, and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I would labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of Eternity only. I would esteem one soul gained for Heaven worth a life of suffering. Earthly consequences should never stay my hand, nor seal my lips. Earth, its joys and griefs, would occupy no moment in my thoughts. I would strive to look upon Eternity alone, and on the immortal Souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and out of season, and my text would be, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
Paul was empowered to live and serve by a consuming vision or revelation of the Person of Christ and the purpose of Christ. He simply saw the world and life more clearly than the average man or woman in his day!