Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of November 19, 2006

Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

Once Paul found out that Jesus was Lord and that he had been persecuting the One that he should have been worshipping, his first question was, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Paul had been doing what he thought was right and now he wanted to do what the Lord told him was right. He had been serving the religion of man and now he wanted to serve the crucified but risen Christ. Paul had truly been converted. His “new birth” was evidenced by this question.

Sometimes, we know what the Lord would have us to do because he has clearly told us. We are to be baptized; we are to show forth his death in the Lord’s supper; we are to be separated from unbelievers in our lives so that their decisions do not become our decisions; we are to gather with other Christians for support and fellowship; and we are to preach the Gospel. However, there are some areas in our lives where the Lord’s will is not so clear. But we should still ask the question, “Lord what will YOU have me to do?”

Recently, I was at a Senior Center for a Bible study. Afterwards, we were served their Thanksgiving meal. In past years, the manager of the center would ask the person leading the Bible study group to give a public blessing on the food. However, the last couple of years, the manager has not asked us to do this. We asked the current manager if we could this year. She said that it was up to us. Whatever we wanted to do was fine with her. That would seem to have given us an open door so that we could publicly honor the Lord. But all of a sudden those in the Bible study group had differing opinions as to whether we should thank the Lord publicly.

Some thought that we might antagonize those who play bingo and who complain that those of us who enjoy conversation after the meal is over are interfering with their game. Some thought that we should be bold in our testimony and let them “not listen” if they didn’t approve. I had to make the final decision since I was being asked to bless the food. I asked the question, “Lord what will YOU have me to do?” My conclusion was that we are to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). I really doubted if our being confrontational was going to lead anyone to Christ, and I suggested to the others that if we exercised our freedoms, then when other religions decided that they wanted to practice their faith in public in the facility, it would be hard to complain. It was my judgment that we needed to be cooperative, not confrontational; and if we did not exercise our “rights” we would be better able to resist other religions coming in and exercising their rights. So I did not bless the food publicly. Of course we did bless it privately at the close of the Bible study when we were together in the room where the Bible study is held. I believe the Lord gave us guidance.

I wonder how many times, I have made my decisions thinking I was pleasing the Lord when in all honesty, I made the decision based upon what I wanted to do. We often think that if it pleases us it pleases the Lord, and yet many things that please the Lord do not please us since He thinks differently than we do (Isaiah 55:8). He asks us to die in order to live, to live for eternity and not for time, to consider others better than ourselves, to be humble and not proud. These are not the things that normally please us.

If we are willing to be obedient even when we don’t know where our decision will lead and even when the decision is not the decision we would like to make, I am confident that we too can know what the Lord wants us to do and that we can be delivered from self-will in our desire to serve the Lord.

Bruce Collins

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