In my quiet time I have been reading through the book of Galatians. I am fascinated by Paul telling of his encounter with Jesus. Paul, zealous in the traditions of his forefathers, advancing ahead of his colleagues, and once a persecutor of the Christians. Then dramatically calls it like it is “But when God” (Galatians 1:15, NIV) —everything changed. Don’t you just love it! We all need a “but when God” in our life! He goes on to say God called him by His grace and revealed His Son to him (v16).
The word Paul chooses to use for reveal is thought-provoking. There are two 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 (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 primarily stresses the other usage. Within the context, this revealing is done to the senses (the outer-man) to sight, smell, hearing, speaking and 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). The verse goes on to say, this revelation—all was done ultimately “so that” he might preach Him. (See Galatians 1:11-16 and Acts 9).
I appreciate that the Word of God is so practical. The phrase “so that” (used 80x in the NKJV) not only gives us a connecting clause, but also is powerful and insightful—this is why. Not that God needs a reason, but graciously and divinely, the writers included it and the Holy Spirit breathes understanding through 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. May we also see the “so that” in everyday life. Mindful of moments (i.e.) realizing perhaps a delay (in circumstance) was divinely designed “so that” we were able to see God move, or God move through US!
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).
The graciousness of God, “This is why.”
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” – Hebrews 10:24).