BIBLE READING: ACTS 9:1-22; ACTS 22:4-15; ACTS 26:9-18
“Not that I have already obtained it [the goal of being Christlike] or have already being made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His Own.” (Philippians 3:12 AMP)
The road to Christlikeness is not covered with a red carpet. Attaining full Christian Maturity requires varying degrees of sacrifice, hence the Scripture tells us “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14) There is a demand upon everyone who will be used of God without reservation to sacrifice his personal agenda and adopt His instead.
Saul of Tarsus was a man driven blindly by a strong sense of ambition. In his zeal, he even felt he had Divine Endorsement as he persecuted the Early Church, a clear reminder of the Words of Jesus to His Disciples: “Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.” (John 16:2b) With the blood of Stephen still fresh on his hands and armed with the authority of the high priest, he headed towards Damascus with one sole agenda: Crush the “nuisance” that was the Church of Jesus Christ once and for all. Little did he know that a Kairos moment which would alter the course of his life forever lay in wait for him. On the road to Damascus, a bright light from Heaven, “brighter than the Sun,“(Acts 26:13) knocked him off his high horse (pun intended) and brought him to his knees before the King of kings and Lord of lords Himself: “Then he fell to the ground, and heard a Voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 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.” 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.” (Acts 9:4-6) A radical change of direction occurred when he came face to Face with the Living Lord. Saul of Tarsus died and Paul the Apostle arose.
One other striking thing that happened to Saul on the road to Damascus was that he was blinded by the Glorious Light of Jesus’ Countenance. He regained his sight after three days only after he was commissioned by Christ through Ananias. (see Acts 9:17-20) Herein lies another vital point: The Lord Jesus cannot entrust you with His Vision until He first of all blinds you to yours. May our eyes remain open to the Divine Mandate prepared for us to fulfill by His Grace.
Heavenly Father, to You alone we ascribe all the Glory, Honour and Praise. O Lord, please grant us a Damascus Road Encounter that will cause us to embrace Your Divine Agenda alone. Thank You for this, Lord, in Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen.