“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9.1-6
Saul’s encounter upon the Road to Damascus is perhaps one of the greatest encounters with God in all of human history. For here we find a man deeply unworthy of saving. A man who was killing and imprisoning the new believers. In his zeal, he would track down Jews who converted to the “Way,” and put them in prison. He would persecute them, stone them, and breath out “murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.” That was, until he met Jesus.
Saul was stopped dead in his tracks. Only a holy visitation from God could stop someone like Saul. So upon that road, God sends a bright light from heaven to flash around him, felling Saul to the ground, and a voice speaking directly to his heart, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” To which the voice replied, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” And that was all she wrote. From that point on Saul would change sides. He would be pro-Jesus, writing, preaching, evangelizing and going on mission to support the new Churches of Christians all over the modern world.
As I mentioned, Saul didn’t seem worthy of saving, and at times, neither do we. “We are all like sheep and have gone astray.” We have all sinned and fallen short. But while we were sinners, Saul who became Paul would later write — “Christ died for us.” And yet Christ in his mercy makes a way for you and me. We who are bound by the flesh do not have to be ruled by it. We who are enraptured by this world and what culture has to offer, do not have to be slaves to it’s desires. For Jesus is greater. He over came death by grace, he conquered sin and rose again to new life. Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.”
Saul needed saving and so do we. We need it in a bad way. Our world needs it. Churches who go rogue need it. The culture in which we live needs to be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. We need a holy visitation from the Holy God. We need a wake up call in which to wreck our souls with the love and power of Jesus the Christ.
This is my prayer. That first, I might turn and surrender to God. And second, that He might bring revival to our land and restoration to our hearts. Would you pray this with me? Would you submit to Christ? Would you give him your life? Allow the One who knows you by name to bring hope to your heart once again.
“O Lord Jesus, thank you for meeting with Saul, for turning his life around, for having grace not to leave him in his dust. Thank you for reaching out to all people, for saving my family, my friends, your creations all of them. Come now, Holy Spirit, meet with them! Meet with me. Help me become more awakened to your power and love. Save me from the snares of sin. Draw me to the light of your grace. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen