On the road to Damascus, Paul, the Apostle, heard the words: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?”
Paul was smitten by Christ. Humbled by this experience Paul asks: “Who are you, Lord?” The response came: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…” (Acts 9:1-5 – those traveling with Paul heard the response but saw no one). That response, in the midst of Paul’s murderous zeal and intense persecutions against Jesus’s followers, shook Paul to the core and as a result Paul ceased to persecute the early Christians. Paul converted, believed Christ to be the 3rd person of God and even though there is no clear indication that Paul actually saw Jesus, like the other Christ’s disciples, he witnessed, followed and testified Jesus for the rest of his life.
Paul’s received godly inspired understanding about his new faith resulted in a number of writings about Jesus Christ that continues to impact people even nowadays. The miracle he experienced shook him and he completely changed the direction of his life. This event yearn to ask ourselves:
How does God shake our soul and how do we respond?
We often find ourselves in a spiritual battle. We might have a sense of insecurity and that a judgment somehow will come. Sometimes we feel bad about a behavior of ours or a condition we allow ourselves to be involved with. Paul was genuinely involved in persecuting the followers of Christ and seemed to believe that his actions were “good”.
Yet, when God miraculously shakes our souls, we are often unresponsive and/or resistant to His ways into our lives. Alternativelly we can be skeptical, inattentive, at best, or simply dismissive of a possible divine movement deeming it to be good/bad luck or a mere coincidence of our circumstances. We often do not recognize the divine intervention or if we recognize we tend to reject it. As so, we miss the miracle and the choice to embrace the opportunity and glorify God.
In a way, this is understandable because SIN often fools us. It fills us with empty promises, false hopes and truths; it perpetuates us in deceiving ideas and rewards us only temporarily. Sin promotes further distance between us and that of which comes from God who loves His creation. Note, however, that it is our attitude towards sin that separates us from God. Sin is also used by the Holly Spirit, living in many of our hearts, to convict us (John 16:8) of our unrighteousness, possibly changing our own ways to receive eternal salvation.
Yes, we are shaken up by God, sometimes we don’t perceive that. We often choose to follow our own self-interests placing our hopes and trust in ourselves as opposed on the promises of God and His truth.
If you realize at any moment that you are being shaken up by God (like Paul was on the road to Damascus), think about your response. Are you asking “Who are you, Lord?” and allowing Him to pull you closer to Him so that you do not have to live below your potential and self-imposed limitations?
Are you simply ignoring His call, classifying it to be a circumstantial moment in your life because you can’t draw any meaningful conclusion about it?
Our addictive self-centered attitudes, thoughts and behaviors that we are used to have and are not necessarily willing to give up perpetuate us in our suffering and self-defeating position. They move us away from important spiritual growth and closer relationship with our Creator. They further enable us to deter a needed change in our own lives. They might make us feel good today but they will not help us tomorrow, much less for eternity.
God is calling you to be closer to Him, don’t ignore His signs.