TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26
As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and 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?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.”
Acts 9:3-5 (NASB)
THE DISRUPTIVE GOSPEL: JESUS CONFRONTS US
In his autobiographical work, Surprised by Joy, C. S. Lewis describes how the Lord persistently “closed in on” him. “You must picture me alone. . . night after night, feeling . . . the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me . . . I gave in and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed; perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.” As influential as C. S. Lewis’s conversion has been, John Stott rightly notes that “Saul’s . . . is the most famous conversion in church history.”
Before God could use Saul greatly God had to confront Saul. Saul had to see himself as a sinner who needed the Savior. God calls Saul’s name twice like a child who is about to be scolded by a parent. God had his attention. And then Saul was overwhelmed by a sudden light from heaven and fell to his knees. Someone has quipped that Acts 9 was a supernatural showdown at high noon! This was the day a foe of Christ became a follower of Christ! If Jesus could save Saul, is there anyone He could not save? The answer to this rhetorical question is of course a resounding “No!”
There is an old story about a little boy in a Sunday School class who was asked what part he played in his salvation. The boy said that his conversion was partly God’s work and partly his work. The teacher was shocked by the strange answer and asked what part he played in his salvation. He said “I opposed God all I could, and God did the rest.” What was your part in salvation? How did God confront you about your sin?
God confronting us is actually a gift. Thank God for making you aware of your sinfulness and your need for His mercy. Thank God for His presence in your life.