The Reason, ‘So That’
In my quiet time, I have been reading through the book of Galatians, I am fascinated by Paul telling of his encounter with Jesus. He, zealous in the traditions of his forefathers, advancing ahead of his colleagues, and once a persecutor of the Christians – “But when God…” (Galatians 1:15, see key verses below) don’t you just love it, we all need us a ‘but when God’ in our life! He goes on to say God called him by His grace and revealed His Son to him.
The word Paul chooses to use for reveal, is thought-provoking: There are 2 uses for this Greek word, one is used to describe something given to the spirit-man, (the inner man, associated with the mind, will and emotions) God reveals to the intellect of man (see Matthew 16:17, when Jesus states His Father revealed to Peter, that He was “the Christ, the Son of the living God“). However, here Paul stresses the other usage, within the context this revealing is done to the senses (the outer-man) to sight, hearing, feeling, touching. Meaning, when Jesus presented Himself to Paul (remember the bright blinding light) He knocked Paul on his backside and was appealing first to His senses, He had to get Paul’s attention! Paul was a highly educated man, a thinking man; perhaps God was getting past his head so he could not attempt to rationalize the encounter, (thus three days of blindness, see Acts 9). The verse goes on to say, that all this was done ‘so that’ he might preach Him.
I appreciate that the word of God is so practical, the phrase ‘so that’ not only gives us insight but also is powerful, ‘this is why,’ not that God needs a reason, but graciously inspired the writers to include it. “Walk in the ways of the LORD your God so that you may live and prosper.” (Deut. 5:33) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16,17) Paul prays ‘I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.” (Ephesians 1:17) “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11)
May we spot the so that’s in scripture, aware there is a reason and the reason is intended to be known. Noting too, like Paul, God may find the need to get our attention and knock us on our backside, (He has me a couple-three times) when He does, let’s look for the reason, So that ______________________ (you and Holy Spirit fill in the blank).
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
Key Verses: “I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man.” (Galatians 1:11-16 NIV)