Image courtesy of dentedup on

Image courtesy of dentedup on

I was listening to an Andy Andrews podcast the other day, he was talking about how every choice that we make is a product of our thinking. So I got to thinking – what to do when challenges threaten to take us off the path?

We all have challenges in our day-to-day lives. I’m no exception, but I do make a choice in how I manage them and how that choice as well as my manner of thinking affects me as a person. The perspective we glean from our challenges shows up in how it shapes us, and our heart. It helps to define our character.

What to do when adversity appears? How can we overcome the difficulty of staying true to the path? The apostle Paul comes to mind…

– Paul knew what his calling was. This is the first step. He connected with the Holy Spirit. We can as well. So we don’t have to write the majority of the New Testament to enjoy a connection the Holy Spirit. Have you ever felt connected? This is essential to finding our calling, and God’s will for us. Granted, Jesus paid Paul a personal visit to deliver “the message.” That may never happen in our lives but we can connect with the Holy Spirit, and discern God’s will for us. Here’s a post that I wrote a while ago about finding God’ s will. I continually read about how people are troubled by not being able to identify their calling. We don’t have to all go to work at the church to fulfill our calling – God needs us out and about. He needs us to be everywhere.

– Paul was determined to stay on the path. This is a conscious decision; a recurring theme as we follow Paul on the journey through the book of Acts. Continually under attack by religious people who claimed him to be at fault or charged him with this or that crime, Paul repeatedly listened to the voice of God: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” (Acts 18: 9-10). In fact, even when they became abusive to Paul in this chapter, he “shook out his clothes,” making the statement that he had done all he could for them. Then what? Trifling snag or extreme hiccup, keep on, keeping on…

– Paul was a smart man and influential leader. He knew when and how to call people out that were intent on diverting him from the path God had clearly laid out for him. He knew when to stand up for himself, and when to just preach the Gospel. I admire that about Paul. We shouldn’t be afraid to take a stand for the sake of doing what is right, and doing what God has called us to do. We have better things to do with our time… think about it this way: Gump didn’t know diddly about shrimping (aside from what Bubba had told him), let alone piloting a boat. God showed up and the rest is history…

Sometimes Paul’s way didn’t make a lot of sense to the people around him, but that’s just the point of sticking to our calling and the path: It’s all about obedience. Paul transformed many lives though his influence and imagination. That’s it. If we’re obedient everything else falls into place. 🙂

How can you use your influence this week to draw people closer to the Lord?