Well – the treacherous act of the stoning of Stephen stirred things up quite a bit. The Bible says that at that point persecution broke out among the church, and Saul began to “destroy” the church. Look at verse 1:
1 And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.
I noticed where it said, “and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.” This scattering sets the stage for even faster growth. The church was growing from within by leaps and bounds. But, God had bigger plans.
I imagine that if it was then like it is today, things may have become very “comfortable” in the early church if left alone. Sometimes God has to stir things up a bit. This persecution pushed believers outside the comfort zone, into Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth (sounds familiar somehow, no?).
Isn’t it ironic to see Saul’s role in this? Isn’t God amazing? The one player that first persecutes the church and who takes on his role as destroyer of Christians is the one player who, after these Christians are spread all over the known world, becomes a powerful force to disciple these new Christians all over. Who knew?
Furthermore, we see an even more amazing storyline developing that would change the hearts of “the chosen” forever and bring the good news to all people. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Are you uncomfortable in your comfort? Is God telling you to stir things up a bit? Is God stirring things up in your comfort zone? He may be calling you to the next big growth of His church.