Summary: God has lessons to teach us if we are willing to be taught.
A This week many of us will be sending kids back to school, or going back to work as teachers.
1 ILL.- The teacher said, "Why don’t you brush your teeth? I can see what you had for breakfast this morning."
Boy, "What did I have?" Teacher, "Eggs." Boy, "You’re wrong! THAT WAS YESTERDAY!"
ILL.- A girl student to a boy student, "Too bad you flunked the test. How far were you from the right answers?" Boy, "TWO SEATS."
2 Back to school, Acts 9.19-31.
a This is a passage about Saul going back to school.
b Just like many of us or our kids, grandkids, people we love.
B Saul was saved instantly, but his journey to becoming the Apostle Paul took some time.
1 Saul was highly educated.
a Growing up in Tarsis (Roman Providence) he learned about Greek philosophy, pagan religions.
b When he was old enough, he studied at the feet of Rabbi Gamaliel.
c Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin and card carrying member of the Pharisee Party.
d He was a member of the Sandhedrin in Jerusalem.
aa Comprised of high priests, former HP.
bb members of prestigious families which H.P. came from.
cc Elders of groups.
dd Scribes (Lawyers)
2 God sent him back to school (3 actually) and taught him some things.
C I want us to go back to school today and see what & how God wants to teach us.
I God will school you at the school of solitude.
A Many God has used in incredible ways in/for the Kingdom spent enormous amounts of time alone with Him.
1 Saul had been converted and then (Gal. 1.18) went to Arabia for 3 years!
a In Arabia he practiced personal evangelism and had a tremendous season of personal spiritual growth.
aa Gal. 1.16, "I did not immediately consult with flesh & blood."
bb For 3 years Paul had an opportunity to be taught of the Lord.
b He spent it in prayer, study, meditation and met w/ the Lord alone.
c He went into the desert old school Saul (bitterness, hatred, scared); Came out tender hearted Apostle Paul.
aa Went in w/ the law of the O.T.; Came out with the book of Romans in his heart.
bb God used the University of Solitude to form Saul to Paul.
2 Moses is another alumnus from the U. of Solitude.
a You can divide Moses life into 3, 40 year segments.
aa 1st 40: Pharoh’s house
bb 2nd 40: Arabian Desert (Same desert, 3,000 before Paul)
cc 3rd 40: Leading the children of Israel to the promised land.
b What was the most important part of his life? The desert! (The 3rd wouldn’t have appeared w/o solitude of Arabia)
aa Remember the last thing he did before he left Pharoh’s house? Murder (took things into his own hands.)
b God took him to the desert & sandblasted the pride out of him.
3 We know little about Jesus years between12-30, we know they were years of obsecurity, solitude (Prayer, study, mediation)
a He didn’t just show up, "He world, I’m here! I’m availble for revival meetings, healing crusades, etc.!"
aa The first thing He did in his ministry was go to the desert for 40 days (praying/fasting), whipped the devil personaly before going out & telling others how to do the same.
bb Mark. 1.35 (Everyday!)
b The Messiah got alone, solitude, with the Father . . . every day.
B I thank God for my formal education but the things that really matter I have learned directly from God, when all alone, that have made the biggest diff. in my life.
1 Through Solitude God brought the Apostle Paul out of the bitter Saul.
a The lawgiver Moses out the of the murder Moses.
b Let God do a radical spiritual surgery/deeper work in your soul in your places of solitude.
aa Have daily prayer, study, meditation in solitude.
bb Solitude is not loneliness.
cc (Loneliness is the word we use to describe the pain of being alone, solitude is the word we use describe the glory of being alone.)
2 When you get to the point where you find that all you have is God you’ll discover that He is all you needed, need, will ever need.
C In one region of Africa, the first converts to Christianity were very diligent about praying.
1 In fact, the believers each had their own special place outside the village where they went to pray in solitude.
a The villagers reached these "prayer rooms" by using their own private footpaths through the brush.
aa When grass began to grow over one of these trails, it was evident that the person to whom it belonged was not praying very much.
bb Because these new Christians were concerned for each other’s spiritual welfare, a unique custom sprang up.