Saul’s conversion was dramatic to say the least! We can read about it in Acts 9: 1-19. His murderous intentions towards Christ’s followers was well known across the land. It would take a supernatural encounter with this Christ, 3 days of blindness, visions from God and faithful obedience from his follower Ananias, to not only restore Saul’s physical sight, but this encounter with Christ would transform the persecutor, into a man on fire for God. This man would go from ordering deaths to Christ followers to bringing Christ to nations. 13 of the 27 books in the New Testament are written by the newly named Paul who would take the good news of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.
His life was transformed.
His life was transformed and he did something with it.
His life was transformed and he did something about it. This is and should be challenging to Christ followers. It sure challenges me as I fall short.
But what gets in our way of responding like Paul?
On a two day silo tour through the middle of Victoria with friends towards the end of 2017, we stopped in a small town called Warracknabeal on Sunday morning to visit a little AOG church. I never did get the visiting preachers name which is uncommon for me as I write the date, bible verse(s), topic and name of the speaker before I write further notes in my always carried notebook. All I know is he was visiting, rode a motorbike and used to be involved with Hillsong music. That day he preached on worship, but not the common focus of worship through music, but rather worship as a day to day experience of vulnerability with God. Worship that is powered by the Holy Spirit. Another artwork came to mind during his message, but that is for another blog.
What would happen during a time of prayer would be my “scales falling from my eyes” moment. Not because I was now a follower of Jesus, I was already this, but because of my scepticism or unease I felt with healing prayer. I know God can heal. I have seen God heal people. I also know that God could choose to heal or not to heal. None of these were up for debate. I was fearful and sceptical of healing services and knew that God would heal or not heal even if I went to one. We were not attending a healing service this day, but as I stood, eyes closed, hands out, I was in semi-freak out mode because I was standing as this preacher started to walk around the small room, praying various prayers for people. I almost sat down, but instead stayed standing, wanting to just surrender regardless of how I felt. It was then that the preacher took my hand and prayed a different prayer than what I was hearing for other people. He prayed for healing. At that moment I could feel a thread of light run down the length of my body from my hip to my ankle. I had been experiencing nerve pain down my leg irregularly for the last few month, but for that last month the pain that had been sometimes waking me at night, was now waking me several times a night. I was exhausted from lack of sleep from the constant pain at night.
That day changed my thinking about healing prayer and healing services. That night would be the first night I would not wake in pain, and the nights that would follow would remain pain free. It would mark the next level of scales falling from my eyes as I reflected on God’s healing, love and mercy, all undeserved, but still gifted. It also got me thinking about other levels of understanding God I hadn’t reached, there are more than anyone can count, let alone know of yet and which scales will fall next to reveal to me a deeper more vulnerable relationship with God. There are things I will not know this side of heaven, but desiring to walk vulnerably and deeper with God helps me, allows me to be in the moments where He gifts me another level of scales falling from my eyes, and a deeper insight into how to see others as He sees others. A deeper insight into how He sees me and how he can use me.
I am challenged by how Paul got it all together and completely sold out for God.
What stops us from doing the same, instead of the baby steps we take through moments of clarity? Are our moments of clarity short lived because we are distracted by circumstances and “living our life”?
Acts 9:1-19 – Biblegateway