Acts 17:11 Archives

Commandeered By God

An email excerpt from Dean VanDruff to a young brother who was griped with a sense of depravity and felt thus unqualified for ministry.

If you feel the Holy Spirit speaking to you about a particular area of conviction, then listen to His voice and be quick to repent. But if this is a more vague sense, or due to past sins, here is our counsel.

As you grow in the Lord you will come to realize that you will never feel pure and holy. You are not. God alone is Holy. Even as you receive His holiness in greater measure by grace, it will never really be "yours", and you will know whose it is. In the meantime, God uses us as earthen vessels; He remembers we are but dust.

It is not a matter of us becoming holy, and by doing so that we earn the right to be of use to the Lord! No, it is that God chooses us and makes us holy--whether we like it or not.

Eph 4:8 (NAS) Therefore it says, "When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives..."

The idea here is one that the First Century reader would have likely known from direct experience. It is was common practice for a conqueror to put together a victory train of vanquished foes and parade them through the city--dragging these hapless ones behind his chariot for all to see. In the selected group might be a wounded warrier, maybe a retard, a street beggar, or perhaps the defeated governor's son, or a defeated god's priest... depending on if the victor meant to display the dredges of the conquered society, or the now defunct aristocracy. In any case, the victor LED THEM CAPTIVE in public display through the streets. Some of these (like Shadrack, Meshak, and Abindego) might be retained as court workers, some as slaves, some as concubines, translators, etc. But these selected ones had escaped death, and were now with the conqueror. The choices of life were not up to them, anymore, but were rather up to the victor.

1Co 4:9 (NIV) For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.

This is a powerful insight, and worthy of meditation. Do not think for a second that you will attain some holiness level and then God will put you in public ministry. Paul killed Christians (how shameful can you get?) to earn him this "right to be used". You may be the retard in the group, or the leper, or the disenherited (from the god of this age) prince. God chooses who will be in His "host of captives". It is His parade, and He chooses us for His various reasons. (John 15:16, Rom 9:16 & 21)

Col 2:15 (NAS) And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

If you are chosen, go the victor's way by dying to self and following Him. It will do you no good to resist your destiny in the train of captives. This is the power of the cross--it kills a man. In short, stop sinning--period! This is what grace will teach you to do--if you really have received it. (Titus 2:11-12) Stop thinking about sin or even wrestling with it. Instead, "Arm yourself with the same attitude" that this is going to be so painful it may well kill you, for "He who has suffered in his body is done with sin". (1Pet 4:1)

Finally, do not come "down from the cross" (Mt 27:42) God has given you, no matter the taunts from the demonic crowd.

Lord, we pray for the deliverance that comes from the knowledge of You in our lives. For You are the suffering one, our Lord and God. We hope that by beholding You and knowing You, that times of refreshing would come quickly as You invade our bodies with the only source of Holiness in the universe--You yourself!

Acts 17:11 Bible Studies

Acts 17:11 Bible Studies Dialogs and Commentary Home Page
NEXT Dean and Laura VanDruff's Home Page