We credit the Apostle Paul with much of our foundation of spiritual truth found in the pages of the New Testament. If a pulpit search committee received his resume today, it is likely they would not consider him as a worthy candidate! Previous to his salvation experience he blasphemed the Lord and persecuted His followers. (1Timothy 1:13) He openly shared his past, but resided there no more. "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry (1 Timothy 1:12 NKJ)." He refused to live looking back over his shoulder and live in the land of "if only."
How could Paul overcome his past failures? Did he have flash backs of viciously dragging believers from their homes? Was the memory of Stephen's stoning etched in his mind? Guilt, shame and regret are penetrating weapons of Satan. Even when forgiveness is freely given by the Lord and others, we often continue to condemn ourselves. Paul learned through God's grace the way to banish self condemnation. "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead (Philippians 3:13 NKJ)." We falsely believe only knights in shining armor are needed in spiritual warfare. Paul put on his daily armor and fought the good fight! (Ephesians 6: 10-18) Maybe he would be an unlikely candidate for pastor or missionary by some people's standards. He ranked high on the Messiah's list to enlist others!
With God all things are possible! Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Secret Place, Daily Devotionals for the Deaf, Light from the Word Daily Devotional. Available now in book store: FORGET-ME-NOT DAILY DEVOTIONAL http:/ebooks.faithwriters.com/ebook-details.php?id=520