Ordinary to Extraordinary | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
July 2015

Ordinary to Extraordinary

By Dorothy Angeles

Imagine that you are the main character in a story that goes like this: You are the most influential leader of your time. People obeyed you not out of respect but because of fear. In order to make sure you were feared by your people, you threw in jail or killed pastors, missionaries, and anyone else teaching about the word of God. You hated people who follow Jesus but you loved seeing them suffering because of their beliefs.

Then, on your way to your next ‘killing’ and ‘jailing’ appointment, you encountered a blinding light. You could no longer see anything and found yourself lying on the ground. Thankfully, you had friends who led you to a place where you could find healing. Such an unbelievable story, isn’t it?

You might think you can’t relate, but the apostle Paul can; this is the story of his first encounter with Christ. Who would imagine that Saul, who was one of the most feared persecutors of the church, and Paul, who wrote most of the books in the New Testament were one person? Is God really using such unexpected people for extraordinary things?

Sometimes we find ourselves living just Saul. You might say, “No, I didn’t persecute the church,” or, “I will never imitate what he did,” but sometimes, we go against God’s plans in our own ways. How often do you continue to commit the same sin over and over again, even though you have confessed it to God and sought repentance? And how long have you been in the church or in your relationship with God but still, people do not notice it? We are often just like Saul (maybe not to the same degree) in our own little ways. But like Saul, we can be transformed and be used by God in ways far greater than we imagined.

When you come to the point of your life where you feel that because of your sin God couldn’t possibly find any use for you, remember how God transformed Paul’s life and used it for His glory. Sin is the enemy’s way of hindering you to be used by God in extraordinary ways. But God will never abandon you. Whenever you are facing that kind of situation in your life, always remember that:

“..where sin increased, God’s grace increased much more.” - Romans 5:20

People may condemn you but God will not and never will. Choose to listen to Him and live your life for His glory just like apostle Paul did. Then your eyes will see, your ears will hear, and you will find God can indeed use you for His extraordinary mission.

Discussion Question: When has God opened your eyes in new ways in your life? How can you make sure you are on God's path for an extraordinary life?

See more devotions from Dorothy and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself, at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.