Sometimes we need to shake off the past in order to step into the next season with a renewed sense of hope and expectation.
Paul went to Corinth to bring the life changing message of the gospel. But the opposition against him grew to the point that he could no longer stay in the same place:
‘Paul… testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed and insulted him, Paul shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood is upon your own heads – I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles” – Acts 18:5b-6 (NLT)
Instead of giving up and leaving Corinth in a cloud of shame and defeat, he concluded that God had used this opposition as the means to redirect him into a new season. As Paul chose to ‘shake off the past’, new doors and supernatural opportunities began to open up for him:
‘Then he left and went to the home of Titius… [who] lived next door to the synagogue… [and] many others in Corinth also heard Paul, became believers, and were baptized’ (18:7-8)
There are a few key principles to glean from Paul’s situation in Corinth:
1. Paul didn’t allow insults and lack of response to define his own worth or the value of his message.
2. He refused to allow the decisions of others to have an ongoing effect in his own life and ministry.
3. He refused to let his past define his future, and literally shook off the contamination of the attitudes of others so he could freely step into his next season.
4. Paul recognised that as one door closed, another door of opportunity (and in this case it was next door!) had opened up, and that somehow God was the one orchestrating these events for a greater purpose.
While there are seasons when we need grit and determination to persevere through opposition and break through barriers, there are also those times when we simply need to ‘shake it off’ so we can step into the next season with a sense of renewed faith and expectation.
God may well have led you to this place to position you ‘next door’ to the opportunity that will define the next phase of life’s great adventure!