I know it’s silly, but as I read Paul’s timely wisdom in parts of the New Testament, for a few moments, I wonder why he couldn’t just stay on earth for a few hundred more years. He did a tremendous job convincing the inconvincible of the Gospel, strengthening the church, conveying his thoughts with clarity, using his testimony skillfully, being aware of his flaws, etc. Why couldn’t he stay here and continue to be an example of incredible leadership? The truth is, these character traits are illuminated in so many today. Paul was a living, breathing example of the power that comes from trusting in the Holy Spirit to lead and guide, and we hold this same power.
“‘All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’” (John 14:25-27 NIV)
God needed Paul for that season. There was a time predestined for Paul’s life and then, that time elapsed. His purpose was for the people during that time, just as God has a specific and timely purpose for us in this generation (Ephesians 2:10).
Furthermore, what Paul accomplished through the power of Jesus Christ lives on through the Bible, and still fills us with hopefulness and zealousness today. As we listen for God’s voice and be obedient to what we hear, our faith-filled accomplishments will also live on long after we pass away.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16 NIV)
Once this life is over, what lasting fruit will you have left behind?