“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 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 9:1-6 NIV
Saul of Tarsus had a clear-cut agenda. He had received authority from the high priest (likely Caiaphas) to represent the Sanhedrin in persecuting Christians throughout the region. That was his purpose in traveling to Damascus. Then God intervened!
God changed everything in an instant. Note that Saul, soon to be called Paul, did not debate theological dogma or even the significance of what happened. He simply asked: “Who are you, Lord?” The answer, “I am Jesus,” was enough to impact the world for all eternity. Saul did not know this, of course. He was told to wait for more instructions. He did not know that he was making a transition from leadership in Jewish society to being used to turn the world upside down with the Gospel. He did not know that he would be used by the Holy Spirit to pen more than half of the New Testament. All he knew was that he was giving up all that he had previously attained, and he did so without argument.
From that point even until now, Paul’s true love for the Christ he once persecuted continues to be a shining example for all believers today!
Everything changed on the road to Damascus. He went from being the persecutor to becoming a chosen vessel of God’s intervention to the world. The Lord told Ananias to minister to the blinded Saul, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel” (Acts 9:15 NIV).
Though we may not be headed to Damascus today, wherever we go, we have plans and agendas that crowd our lives. We are called to a greater pathway, for Daniel 11:32 declares, “…The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (NKJV).