“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’” (Acts 9:3-6)
We note that Saul was on a mission, with letters from the high priest in Jerusalem, to go to the synagogues in Damascus to hunt for Jews there that were followers of Jesus. He only had authority to go to the synagogues, not the general population. God doesn’t often intervene with such power unless there is an urgency. In this case Saul was a sincere follower of His but on a destructive path to His plans. He needed to be dealt with in a miraculous way. God had to literally knock some sense into him. He did and gave directions for the beginning of his new obedience to Him.
We know that Saul was not the first one to be dealt with in such a powerful way and isn’t the last. Maybe our life has a story like this. Maybe God pulled us out of the gutter, changed our life, and gave us a new direction of obedience to Him. This is Who He is. Persons of other religions have been brought to our Jesus in similar ways. These are people that can only be converted by a powerful impact on their lives. An event so powerful that they will be able to put Jesus before family and friends. This is very hard, if not impossible, for some through the regular witness of the Good News of Jesus. They have to be impacted powerfully by God’s presence to see Him. This is beyond anything we can do. Thus, we pray God will do it with those who are so hard against His Son.
Heavenly Father, we know that You have impacted us with Your Word and the Holy Spirit to confess Jesus. But we also know that there are those who need a sign or miracle to jolt their life into seeing Him. Make it so according to Your will.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.