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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; but only, they kept hearing, ‘He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.’ And they were glorifying God because of me.”—Galatians 1:21–24 (NASB)
Once his three years in the desert were over, Paul went to see Peter before going back to Syria and Cilicia (Acts 15:22–29), and he stayed for seven years. We don’t know much about what he did except that he built tents (Acts 18) and took every opportunity to evangelize and encourage people in the faith.
In today’s passage, we see a powerful principle we can all strive toward. In his letter to Galatian believers, Paul claims that during his time in Syria and Cilicia, he was unknown to the churches of Judea. In the original Greek, this idea is a shade stronger, stating that Paul’s face continued or remained unknown.
So, aside from a few people in the church in Jerusalem, his face was unknown. He was ministering, sharing the gospel, and “strengthening the churches” (Acts 15:41 NIV), all without name recognition.
You could almost say he was like Batman. How so? In his first year as a crime fighter, the caped crusader starts out as an urban legend, a myth to both the citizens and the criminals of Gotham. Even the police aren’t sure if he’s real. But with every passing night, the legend of Batman would grow as more and more people would hear the stories of this unknown, silent protector, this Dark Knight.
Paul wasn’t a household name yet; his face wasn’t recognizable. And that, my friends, is not a bad thing. Why? Because all of God’s gifts work in obscurity just like they do in high visibility.
Paul didn’t have the notoriety or name-power he would later carry, he didn’t have the authority or platform he would soon stand on, yet he was obedient to the call of God, he was making kingdom impact, and he was changing lives. He honored the platform he was given—he rocked the mic he had.
And for you and me, the same idea applies. If you wait to lead until you have the title of leader, you’ll never be a leader. If you dishonor the season of obscurity, God’s not going to trust you with a season of high visibility. You won’t be called into the large thing until you are faithful with the small thing He’s given you. So, rock the mic you have, and let God worry about the volume. Because when you do, like with Paul, people–often more people than we will ever realize—will glorify God because of our faithfulness.
DIG: Why is it important to honor the platform we’ve been given?
DISCOVER: How are you currently rocking the mic God gave you in this season?
DO: Read the Parable of the Shrewd Manager in Luke 16:1–10.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.