Scripture Read: Galatians 1:11–24 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. 15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. 18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; 23 but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they were glorifying God because of me.
Application: How many times do we humans miss seeing the forest because we are focused on only one tree? In life we miss great opportunities because of limited sight like this. In Theology we really make a mess of this. Instead of seeing all Your magnificence, we focus on issues that are beyond our understanding and try to create a position that should not be attempted. Then when we find someone else has a different position we fight and divide ourselves. This passage says so much about Your love Father!
“Set me apart” ἀφορίζω aphorízō; - set apart, separate
How sad that this term provokes so much argument in the Body of Christ – instead of celebration. No one understands how this works – it is God’s and He has chosen not to fully explain how this works, how much Sovereignty vs. how much choice, is the setting apart for salvation, service or both? I also struggle with the thoughts but have chosen to not be dominated by something that belongs to You Lord. Instead let’s celebrate several issues that arise from this. First; the Lord has a plan for us, we don’t understand how that all works but it should excite us that He wants to be involved in the life He has given to us – we are set apart for specific things that He desires to accomplish in our life. We should not waste our time trying to discern how much role we play vs. how much He plays – instead we should throw ourselves into the search of knowing Him more and discovering His call for us. Second – we can just live our life knowing we were made to accomplish things bigger than the world has – because our life plan is from God! Yes, even though we will never understand how all this works we know the One that makes it work and He is fully trustworthy! We will let the others spend their time trying to unweave the mystery of Jer 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
We will spend our time being a Jeremiah! I also find it interesting that Paul chose a word *( ἀφορίζω aphorízō) that was from his past. * The Pharisees, the sect to which Paul belonged before his conversion (Acts 23:6; 26:5; Phil. 3:5), got their names from this word, which meant to separate (aphōrisménoi, separated ones).  Think about that! See what we become when we separate ourselves – how tragic No freedom just bondage, pride and legalism! Father, we may not understand this item of theology, but we thank You and ask that You continue to separate us for Your use!
* Meditation Questions: How much time do you spend enjoying God versus trying to figure Him out? Do you believe God has a specific plan for you or just for special individuals? Does God’s plan read like a blueprints, or a map with options? How into your life do you allow God to be.
 Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.