God’s Actions in His believers
Even the most devout, courageous, fearless, relentless leaders have to evaluate what is true and righteous and what is not. Saul was a devout Jew. He seriously thought he was doing the world a favor to rid the Jewish tradition of these upstart Christians who only had eyes for Jesus Christ.
Saul would scale a wall to lead the attack of this new faith with fervor, but alas, his ladder was attached to the wrong wall. As leaders, do we evaluate what we are doing? Do we find the ladder we have been climbing to be attached to the wrong wall? Do we, like Saul, have to brought down and humiliated until we see we have been wrong? Or do we just keep climbing, unwilling to change our minds? The best question of all…Who is our focus? Who needs to be leading and we follow?
Acts 9, The Message
The Blinding of Saul…The Leader who had to be led!
9 1-2 All this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master’s disciples, out for the kill. He went to the Chief Priest and got arrest warrants to take to the meeting places in Damascus so that if he found anyone there belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem.
3-4 He set off. When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice: “Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?”
5-6 He said, “Who are you, Master?”
“I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down. I want you to get up and enter the city. In the city you’ll be told what to do next.”
7-9 His companions stood there dumbstruck—they could hear the sound, but couldn’t see anyone—while Saul, picking himself up off the ground, found himself stone-blind. They had to take him by the hand and lead him into Damascus. He continued blind for three days. He ate nothing, drank nothing.
10 There was a disciple in Damascus by the name of Ananias. The Master spoke to him in a vision: “Ananias.”
“Yes, Master?” he answered.
11-12 “Get up and go over to Straight Avenue. Ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus. His name is Saul. He’s there praying. He has just had a dream in which he saw a man named Ananias enter the house and lay hands on him so he could see again.”
13-14 Ananias protested, “Master, you can’t be serious. Everybody’s talking about this man and the terrible things he’s been doing, his reign of terror against your people in Jerusalem! And now he’s shown up here with papers from the Chief Priest that give him license to do the same to us.”
15-16 But the Master said, “Don’t argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to non-Jews and kings and Jews. And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job.”
17-19 So Ananias went and found the house, placed his hands on blind Saul, and said, “Brother Saul, the Master sent me, the same Jesus you saw on your way here. He sent me so you could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes—he could see again! He got to his feet, was baptized, and sat down with them to a hearty meal.
What do we learn?
–Humility comes before serving the Master, Jesus Christ. We do not do anything for Him without HIS leading.
–Only Jesus can turn around a mind, heart and soul and He will do whatever it takes to make it happen. Why? Because he loved the energy and devoutness of Saul who will now become His leader, completely, for His purposes. He turned an enemy into a apostle of the faith!
–When called to obey, no matter how frightening it is, if Jesus says go, GO. Our small obedient act, like Ananias, just might change the world!
–Saul will be taught the hard suffering that goes with God’s work.
–There IS and always will BE hard suffering with God’s work. Taking a stand and telling the Truth is not easy. Jesus told us “in this world, you will have trouble, but remember I have overcome the world.” In the end, we are victors with Christ!
Is the Master asking us…”why are you out to get Me?”
Dear Heavenly Father, There are many things to think about as we read this transformation of Saul. We pray that we are transformed to be all you intended for us to be…and then do. Continue to mold us, shape us, and humiliate us if you must until You see YOUR reflection in our eyes. Open our eyes, Lord, that we may see…Truth. And live it. In Jesus Name and by His Power, Amen.