What journey are you on?
Are you sure this journey is truly God’s will for you?
In my last post, we began looking at the life of the apostle Paul. We saw who he was before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus and he was definitely on a mission but as we’ll begin to explore today, God had another mission for him and he will one day realize that everything, his background, education, and training will come in handy on this new journey. If you missed that post, you can read it here.
We’ll pick up the telling of Paul’s journey on his way to Damascus. (Acts 9:1-31)
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Pay close attention to what is happening here. This chapter opens with Saul “still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.” He is then suddenly and very dramatically met on the road by Jesus Himself. Watch what happens next. Saul is asked, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” and Saul immediately asks,“Who are You, Lord?” When Saul is told the One he is persecuting is Jesus, there is no arguing, no debating, no negotiating. He is astonished and trembles. Why? Because this “dead” man who he has been trying to convince people through torture and death is not the true Messiah is now standing right in front of him, bigger than life.
He now knows in an instant, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus is who He said He was. What was Saul’s reaction? Immediate obedience. Lord, what do You want me to do?”
He didn’t argue or question, he just sought direction and then obeyed.
When Saul rose from the ground to do what Jesus had commanded him to do, he found himself blinded and needing to be lead by the hand into Damascus. Saul was completely blind for the next three days and he fasted, neither eating or drinking.
Let’s come back to our own journey for a moment. All of life is a journey and we can be like Saul, going our own way, convinced what we are doing is right and good. Only to be stopped suddenly in our tracks by Jesus Himself.
Saul lost his sight.
This very strong, powerful, and educated man now had to be lead around and depend on someone else. Jesus met Saul and got his attention in a very dramatic way because Saul was determined that his way, his journey was the right way.
Can you relate?
Have you ever been going your own way, convinced your way was the best way?
What did it take for Jesus to get your attention? A serious illness, the loss of a loved one, a financial crisis?
What was your response? Did you get angry and shake your fist at God? Did you continue to walk in rebellion, justifying your actions? Or did you completely ignore Him pretending that you aren’t required to respond at all?
We should all take a lesson from Saul and respond with immediate obedience. Asking in humility, “God , what would you have me do?”
As we study further in the days and weeks to come, we will see that God had an incredible plan for Saul and although he wasn’t perfect, in the process of the journey he learned that Jesus was all he would ever need.
I pray that we all come to the same conclusion.
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