God bless you in the exalted name of Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
We started seven days ago looking at the transition Paul made from the synagogue to the school of Tyrannus. Acts 19:8-10 showed the change and gave us a preview of coming attractions. It ended saying that “all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” In the ten verses that followed we read of the special miracles God did through Paul, the impact and extension of his ministry, the disarray it caused in the kingdom of darkness, how the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified, the repentance and transformation of the Ephesians, and we ended up seeing the end result of that one decision to move from the synagogue to the school of Tyrannus: The Word of God grew mightily and prevailed.
The believers Paul taught at the school of Tyrannus are the ones who took what he taught them to the rest of Asia. Later on, when Timothy was in Ephesus having some difficulty dealing with believers departing from the truth, God had Paul share what he did at the school of Tyrannus to open up Asia. Paul told Timothy to commit God’s Word to faithful men, who would be able to teach others. The proclamation of the gospel to the corps of believers at the school of Tyrannus exploded as they took what they learned from Paul to every Jew in Gentile in Asia. God summarized what we have been studying in Acts 19 saying in verse 20, “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” “So” in Acts 19:20 is the Greek adverb houtō, meaning: like this, in this manner, in this way or fashion, in accordance with this description just given. Then, verse 21 begins a new section of Acts with the phrase, “after these things had ended.” Now, it was time for yet another transition.
Now Paul was either the smartest man in Ephesus, the luckiest man in Ephesus, or he was tapped in to the power of God and acted upon revelation. Of course, I believe it was the later. Paul’s manner was to go first to the synagogue (Acts 17:2). He had an affinity for the Jews. The change where he separated and went to the school of Tyrannus is what led to the extraordinary movement of the Word. There’s no way Paul could have anticipated the extraordinary move of the Word, but God had been preparing for it for a long time.
Ferne and I have made more changes and transitions then I can even recall. We had a saying that kept us going through them all. We would continually remind each other that “God always takes us to a better place.” We would get psyched in anticipation for each move, knowing God had great things in store us. However, we really only understood the reasons why in hindsight. Although there were often good natural reasons for each change, God always had better and more long-lasting purposes. We saw His hand in not only preparing us, but also in lining up and preparing the people he sent us to serve.
Joshua had quite a transition after the death of Moses. He had to follow Moses and lead God’s people into the Promised Land. God encouraged him saying, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). It’s good to remember that although we change and transition from season to season. God never changes. He always remains the same, and we can count on His faithfulness. He will always be with us (Genesis 26:3; Exodus 3:11-12; Isaiah 43:1-3a; Matthew 28:20; II Thessalonians 3:16) and His plans are always so much bigger and better than ours (Jeremiah 29:11).
Let’s learn to embrace change. After all, all growth requires change. God never changes and when He asks us to, He is always there with us to see it through. So, let’s go for it with gusto. Why not? We are God’s best and certainly God blessed.