5 levels of courage
Acts 26: 16 “Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me.”
Stand on your feet
You are appointed
With a purpose to serve
With a purpose to witness of Jesus.
There are 5 levels to Paul’s commissioning. These are still levels that are put before each one of us. They are in order of the degree of sacrifice that is needed within any commissioning of God. It takes courage to move through the levels.
Get up. There are too many references to list of the times when Jesus told people to get up. With the instruction comes the power to do what he asks. However, it takes courage to change your position, to do what you have not been able to do. It takes courage to get up.
Stand up. Perhaps people have knocked you down or God did, but sometimes there is a safety in the dirt that prevents the change of stance. To change would be appearing to welcome another knockdown. To stand up means you are ready, you have strength, you will not be moved. It takes courage to stand up.
You are appointed. Paul was a Pharisee, he was appointed by man to protect and promote Judaism. Man chose him for this task. He has the full backing of the Sanhedrin and the High Priest. Being appointed by man can be encouraging and even empowering. But that is nothing compared to knowing that the Lord has appointed you, that He has chosen you, that He knows you and wants you. In the same way even if man rejects you, even if they don’t see the potential in you, even if they say ‘NO!’ as the friends of Jesus did when he tried to share with them his appointment, it matters not. God appoints where man disappoints. It takes courage to hold on to this and to know you are appointed.
With a purpose to serve. Paul wasn’t given a title, he was given a purpose. Man gives titles but God gives purpose. Purpose will take you further than titles will. Titles may open up doors for opportunity but purpose gives you the ability to do what needs to be done behind that opportunity. Notice it was a purpose to get back on the floor. He had just come from the floor and now he is being instructed to spend his life serving from a lowly position. It is a whole different matter moving to a lowly position of serving after God has dealt with you. It takes courage to serve.
With a purpose to witness of Jesus. This is the third time Paul gives his Damascus Road testimony, he was not afraid to witness of what he had seen of Jesus. But his life would be one of continually witnessing of what he was seeing in who Jesus is. This witness would ultimately lead to his death. Our witness may not lead to death but it will surely lead to our surrender. This is the highest call, surrender, it is not popular, you will have to lay things down, you will have to forego comfort. It takes courage to witness.