- Austin Dennis
Day 16 (Acts 22)
6 About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, 'Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?'
8 'Who are you, Lord?' I asked. ''I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,' he replied. 9 My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.
10 'What shall I do, Lord?' I asked. ' 'Get up,' the Lord said, 'and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.' 11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.
12 A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13 He stood beside me and said, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' And at that very moment I was able to see him.
14 Then he said: 'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.'
As I read the testimony of Paul and how his life was transformed by The Lord, I see two things. First thing, Paul had a religious zeal, he thought he was fighting and doing good religiously, by getting rid of people he thought were being pesky, going around talking about this man named Jesus. He thought he was earning his religious medal, but can I tell you, religious zeal can in no way shape or form reconcile you with The Lord. The second thing, the testimony we read of Paul tells us that God saves us for HIS PURPOSE and not for our agendas.
As I look at my life, I have to always be cautious to make sure I am not carrying a religious zeal, to where I am checking a box in this thing called Christianity. We can easily get caught up in a performance to The Lord and not a true cost/sacrifice of following him. Our minds are deceiving, we can make ourselves believe if we are not careful that the good we do is good enough. We are only saved by The Lord's power through Jesus Christ, not by our own power or performance.
My prayer is that we submit ourselves to the holy spirit, so we can be convicted of the things we do to perform for The Lord. I pray our eyes would be open to the games we are playing and realize that The Lord does not play games. I pray we realize there is a cost to following The Lord and we will realize we are powerless without His spirit living in us. Lord guide us, lead us, and we ask that you will be fully Lord over our lives. Amen.