GALATIANS 1 v. 17 – 20
‘nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before me.
But I went out into Arabia (the Arabian wilderness) and then went back once again to Damascus.
After three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get to know Cephas (Peter), and I stayed with him for fifteen days.
I did not see any of the other apostles except James, the brother of our Lord.
I assure you, before God, that I am not lying about anything I am writing to you.’
Paul spent time in the wilderness of Arabia – went on retreat – to spend time with God and to make some sense of this dramatic turnaround and change in his life and calling.
‘the Arabian wilderness was a vast geographic area southeast of Palestine and, of particular importance, the location of Mount Sinai. On Mount Sinai, Moses had received the Law. It was one of the holiest places a devout Hebrew like Paul could go in order to listen to God and come to terms with what has happened. There, over a period of time, he experiences direct revelations from Jesus.’ (‘God Unbound’, Elaine Heath)
Lord, may I prioritise
my time with You –
time to be alone, aside from all the demands and activities,
to simply be
so that I may hear from You
and learn to follow Your lead,
to walk in Your ways
and to share
You with others.
‘Paul went to the Arabian wilderness for three years of retreat in order to come to terms with his revelation : Jesus is the Christ for the whole world. Where do you go when you need to be with God for a sustained period of time?
What practices help you listen to God?’ (‘God Unbound’, Elaine Heath)