Dedication: Released by God’s Power of Renewal
A Brussels Griffon with a clear look of surprise.

Dedication: Released by God’s Power of Renewal

This is from a teaching series Dr. Aikens did entitle “Decisively Dedicated.” The first post was “Dedicated, “committed, not just submitted.” The second was “Dedicated: Danger Mindless Dedication. The third post was “Dedication: Six Degrees of Renewal.” This final post from Decisively Dedicated is “Dedication: Released by God’s Power of Renewal.”

Acts 9:21

But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?


To be “amazed” is to become so startled and surprised, so taken aback and astonished, that it can lead to becoming bewildered, even perplexed and confused. Beware, amazement is becoming excited and emotionally aroused to marvel in a way that can quickly turn to dread by something so awe-inspiring or astounding that we find it hard to believe or accept.

In Acts Chapter 9, we see how Saul went through renewal that had him turn in a totally different direction. He was transformed and converted from a Christian killer to one called of the Lord by the power of God’s renewal. Saul’s release through God’s renewal left those that he encountered amazed and confused.

Acts Chapter 9

And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,  And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayed and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou might receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.  And straight away he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?

Acts 9:22-25 (Amplified):  But Saul increased all the more in strength and continued to confound and put to confusion the Jews who lived in Damascus by comparing and examining evidence and proving that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah).

So what happens?

“After a considerable time had elapsed, the Jews conspired to put Saul out of the way by slaying him, But their plot was made known to Saul. They were guarding the gates day and night to kill him, But his disciples took him at night and let him down through the [city’s] wall, lowering him in a basket or hamper.”

Remember, Saul began full of ability and desire, and as this “Released Agent” knew peril and protection immediately; however, “integrity of our renewal” must still and surely will be tested.  Saul’s dedication wanted him to stay, but God said not so!

The converted Saul to Paul writes in Galatians 1:15-19 (Amplified)

“But when He, Who had chosen and set me apart [even] before I was born and had called me by His grace (His undeserved favor and blessing), saw fit and was pleased To reveal (unveil, disclose) His Son within me so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles (the non-Jewish world) as the glad tidings (Gospel), immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood [did not consult or counsel with any frail human being or communicate with anyone]. 17 Nor did I [even] go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles (special messengers of Christ) before I was, but I went away and retired into Arabia, and afterward, I came back again to Damascus.

Saul’s renewal and release to be God’s Agent on the road of Damascus were tested; this testing is when the renewal process’s integrity is revealed.

And still, we’ll be tested, as God renews us unto the “new release” even among or by those we think ought not to be “amazed” at us, as in unbelieving and confused.

Acts 9:26 (Amplified):  “And when he had arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to associate himself with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe he really was a disciple.

Even the “disciples” didn’t trust the “integrity” of the renewal and release God had done. This is why God will have people of integrity drawn to us as we work in the release of God.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

“Two are better than one because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor; For if they fall, the one will lift his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him! Again, if two lie down together, they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone?  And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Acts 9:27-29 (Amplified):

  “However, Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles, and he explained to them how along the way he had seen the Lord, Who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached freely and confidently and courageously in the name of Jesus. So he went in and out [as one] among them at Jerusalem, Preaching freely and confidently and boldly in the name of the Lord. And he spoke and discussed with and disputed against the Hellenists (the Grecian Jews), but they were seeking to slay him.

Barnabas and Saul had both been brilliant students of the great teacher Gamaliel. According to Jewish history, Barnabas, meaning “son of consolation,” was a man of great “integrity,” stature, and bearing in the community.

The difference between them was Saul was fiery, impatient but devoted and dedicated to the letter of the law as being his necessary vocation. Therefore his excellent knowledge of the Law gave him “veracity,” Yet; he had no clue about the Spirit behind the Law, so his delivery lacked “excellence” and instead was almost lethal in its lack of grace.

Barnabas, on the other hand, was more conciliatory, being a “son of consolation.” So he had thought to help Saul’s desire to freely confidently and courageously preach in Jesus’s name and was ignited by his great “aptitude” in “ability.”

But he was not released because it was not Saul’s time yet neither to be the agent released nor the one in charge, for “ability, integrity and desire” all had to be both tested and developed in him first. And so rejection limited his effectiveness.

Acts 9:30-31 (Amplified)

“And when the brethren found it out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus [his hometown]. So the church throughout the whole of Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was edified [growing in wisdom, virtue, and piety] and walking in the respect and reverential fear of the Lord and in the consolation and exhortation of the Holy Spirit continued to increase and was multiplied.

To be agents of veracity and excellence first requires a decisive dedication to the Lord and the purpose you are called. Decisive dedication will always bring us to and through the five degrees of renewal unto release if we yield to that time-consuming process.

As we see with Saul, as able as he was and as dedicated as he was, God knew he needed to walk with someone who lacked the excellence needed for the assignment; that is why Barnabas was drawn to Saul. God ordained partnerships aid in the assignment and brought a greater dedication to all.

Dedication is personal, yet walking in our renewal release may not be. No matter the call of God on our life, God may, according to His will and way, call others to walk with us so that our ministry can be effective and excellent.

The next post will be the beginning of a new series from Dr. Aikens entitled “Word for Today.” This is a group of concepts that she defines in a way for us to apply them spiritually and practically to our life. Look for it in your email, and it will be coming soon.

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