In Acts 26:17-18 Jesus told Paul to do something that only Jesus can do. But that didn’t stop Paul from obeying and being used as a means to accomplish Jesus’ end.
Here’s how John Piper explains it:
Don’t stop because you can’t. Of course you can’t. But the fact that you can’t make electricity or create light never stops you from flipping light switches. The fact that you can’t create fire in cylinders never stops you from turning the car key. The fact that you can’t create cell tissue never stops you from eating your meals. So don’t let the fact that you can’t cause the new birth stop you from telling the gospel. That is how people are born again—through the living and abiding word, the good news of Jesus Christ.
via Justin Taylor
“More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them.” – Henri Nouwen