Scripture: Galatians 2:9-10
8 For He Who motivated and fitted Peter and worked effectively through him for the mission to the circumcised, motivated and fitted me and worked through me also for [the mission to] the Gentiles.
9 And when they knew (perceived, recognized, understood, and acknowledged) the grace (God’s unmerited favor and spiritual blessing) that had been bestowed upon me, James and Cephas (Peter) and John, who were reputed to be pillars of the Jerusalem church, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, with the understanding that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised (Jews).
Paul had caught something here from the Holy Spirit… he had walked through some incredible hardships from being a persecutor of the Christian church to literally being transformed because of his experience on the Damascus Road. It is now after 14 years of being a voice for the Christian faith he had proved himself to be an authentic Christ follower. His heart in this above scripture is to make it known that it is God who motivates, fits and will make your life effective… not man. He was determined to not be moved by the voice of men, he knew what the Lord had shown him regarding the Jews and the Gentiles. God is not partial to one group who live their life according to the law, because Jesus had fulfilled the works of the law by dying on the cross and everything in his life leading up to the cross. Our right standing is by grace, through faith in the Lord Jesus, not by our works to attain righteousness. These men recognized who they were called to reach, although a different “mission field” It was the same Gospel that was to be preached and is still being preached today to the ends of the earth. “In principal it was accepted that his work lay in the non-Jewish world and the work of Peter, James and John among the Jews. It should be carefully noted that it is not a question of two different Gospels being preached; it is a question of the same Gospel being brought to two different spheres by different people specially qualified to do so.” – The Letters to the Galatians and the Ephesians By William Barclay
The mission of the Apostles was to share the Gospel of Grace where God had sent them, they were to teach people about the grace of God, not the mixing of mans theology of law integrated into grace. They were by no means telling people that because they did not need to live by the law they could live a life in sin and say I have grace do do so… Grace empowers us to do what we cannot do on our own. It is the grace of God that empowers us to be in right standing with Him, not by our own ability or right living, because we will fail and never be able to attain all the laws demands. This was the message that the Apostles were preaching… they recognized where they were called to go and the people they were called to go to and it was God that called them, not man and it was God who motivated, fitted and caused them to be effective where they went.
It is our choice to be moved by the voice of men or to stand in the right place at the right time where God has called us to be. Paul could have been moved, but he refused to be intimidated. He was confident in the message of the Gospel he was proclaiming. It was his confidence in his relationship with the Lord and what the Lord spoke that kept him going and to be able to lay a foundation that had not yet been laid before and that brought unity to the other Apostles that were taking the message to the Jews an the non-Jews. “He was a man conscious of a special task. He was convinced that God had given him a task to do and he would let neither opposion from without or discouragement from within stop him from doing so. Those who know they have a God given task will always find they have a God given strength to carry it out.” The Letters to the Galasians and the Ephesians
I encourage us all to not be moved by the voice of people or by circumstances that could almost seem louder than the voice of God. The bible says that in John 14:17 that we know Him. So whenever He speaks to us about something, what ever it might be… spouse, children, finances, work, ministry…. what ever it might be when the Lord speaks directly to us about something we need to stand firm on the Word and not be moved no matter what…. we cannot be intimidated by the voice of men and the circumstance that surrounds us. It is God who motivates us, fits us and will cause us to be effective where ever we are at and what ever we are doing in life if we will not be moved. Allow this message through Paul from God empower you with His grace to do what you cannot do on your own and to be who God has called you to be and where He has called you to be!
Father I thank you that it was you who empowered the Apostles, you motivated them, you fit them and was you who caused them to be effective in reaching the people you called them to reach. You God have given each and every one of us a God given task and if we will stand unmoved, not intimated and stand on your Word we will see that it is your grace that empowers us to do what we cannot do on our own. Thank you for your love that flows freely from heaven from your throne room of grace that we can come boldly to. I thank you Lord Jesus for your strength in me to stand no matter what comes my way, I trust your hand upon my life, your peace that guides me into all truth. I declare your kingdom come, your will be done and Your life, Your truth, Your justice and Your light prevail in my life. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen, so be it.