Acts 9:3,6—As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 are verses that everyone is familiar with in one form or another and are often quoted. You know, trust in the Lord…lean not on your own understanding…in all your ways acknowledge Him…He makes straight paths. But if you keep reading verses 7-8, Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Saul would have known these verses forwards and backwards and in his zeal he would have believed he was doing the will of the Lord and not his own. That is until his encounter that day on the road to Damascus. Saul was blinded by the light…Paul preached the gospel. What has the light changed in you?
Everyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ should be able to say—they’ve had a ‘Damascus road’ encounter. It’s not necessarily the place of salvation but the place where your ideas about God and who He is are radically changed. Saul knew God…but Paul was changed by God.
Do you KNOW God or just know Him? Has your encounter with Him changed the very core of who you are, how you act, how you talk, how you dress, what you think, what you enjoy, what you want out of life? Do you want Him to not only visit you in your church, your home, your workplace but to saturate/abide/live there? I just finished reading a book titled, ‘Not a Fan—Becoming a completely committed follower of Jesus Christ’. The premise of the book was that there are many fans of Jesus but very few true followers. I believe to be a true follower you need to be ‘blinded by the light’. Kyle Idleman in his book says, “Fans are happy to follow Jesus as long as that doesn’t require any significant changes or have negative implications.” But – “There is no way to follow Jesus without Him interfering with your life. Following Jesus will cost you something. Following Jesus always costs you something.” That is so true. Yet when we have a ‘blinded by the light’ encounter with Jesus, the cost will not matter because we know He is on our side.
Have you ever read Psalm 119? Yes—that one…the longest chapter in the Bible. I always dreaded trying to read it because of that fact. Well let me tell you—I have learned not to dread it. There are beautiful verses in that chapter and they all pretty much deal with God’s law, God’s word and how we should love it, follow it, know it, and teach it. It’s that ‘blinded by the light’ stuff. God will only do in our lives what we allow Him. He is very much the gentleman. The more we want of Him…the more we ask Him…the more He will give. And the more we have of Jesus…the more we want. In this day and age we need God to be an intimate part of every second of our lives. Our choices are easy to see—we either live for Him or we don’t. But to live for God does mean a change…a change in our lives, in our attitudes, in our hearts, in all we are and hope to be. A ‘blinded by the light’ change.