But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.

Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days.  I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. Galatians 1:15-16, 18-19

Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also.  I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. Galatians 2:1-3

Whenever I read Galatians and often times when I think on my journey with God. When I first “knew” that I had to tell people about Jesus, what I did and the response of the church I attended at the time, I wonder if I got caught in human tradition. I remember going with a brother and preaching to people that God led us to in Santa Barbara. I remember praying for people at college and they were healed. I remember so much that was pulled down and brought under a “covering” of the church I was attending. I know it was God’s will; for nothing happens without his will, but I still wonder. I didn’t stop listening to God and doing the “little” things that he told me to do; like driving across town to a place to meet a person who would be there, but the corporate ministry had been taken off the table if it didn’t come from my pastor. This too, as I know, was God’s will. However, I still wonder.

I wonder how often we hear from God through his Holy Spirit and instead of responding to God and doing what he tells us to do, we ask other people about it or do nothing at all thinking; it wasn’t God who told us to go pray for that person; it wasn’t God who told us to quit our job and travel to the other side of the world. Perhaps it wasn’t God who told us not to say that thing we said. You get the point.

Paul immediately went out and began to preach. It wasn’t until after three years that he even met Peter and James. It was only after doing what God had told him to do for fourteen years that he stopped by Jerusalem to see the elders “in response to a revelation.” Once more Paul did what God wanted him to do. He never sought the approval of other people.

While I’m not suggesting that you ignore your leaders. God forbid! I wonder how often we allow human tradition to stand in the way of God’s purpose in our lives. It’s easy to say that nothing happens without God’s permission, but that doesn’t mean that we ought not to examine ourselves and ensure that what we do or don’t do aligns with the Word of God.