If you’re not familiar with Saul, he’s a devout Jew but, up to this turning point, had not believed Jesus was God’s son. Saul had been doing horrific things to persecute the followers of Jesus. Saul believed he was being true to his Jewish faith.
I love how God shows up in this passage to get Saul’s attention! This becomes a life altering moment for Saul. I imagine that any time God gets our attention by speaking out loud our lives are changed.
We can hear from God while reading his word, spending time in prayer, or taking time for quiet reflection. We don’t need to have a bright light blinding us or to hear an audible voice to get the message. Unless, of course, our hearts are hardened or misguided like Saul’s! Then God may need to use some extraordinary measure to get us back on track.
This event on the road to Damascus is known as Saul’s conversion. He will go from being a zealous Jewish leader out to persecute Christians to being one of the most influential men of the New Testament. Saul will later be called Paul and help start many Christ-following churches around the region.
(Fun fact: Of the 27 books of The New Testament, 13 are “traditionally” attributed to Paul.)
Paul’s day certainly changed in a flash. He was on his way to Damascus on a mission to arrest as many Christians as he could find. God had other plans for him. You can read more about the conversion story and how God used other people to help Saul here in Acts 9.
You may have your own conversion story of what your life was like before Jesus and now after meeting him. God doesn’t always enter our lives in such a “spectacular” way, sending a brilliant light from heaven. When you think of it, however, the mere fact that the God of the universe, creator of all things, loved us so much to send his son, Jesus as a ransom for us—that’s quite spectacular!
Take some time to sit quietly today and listen for any message God may be sending your way. Is he trying to get your attention? Do you feel like you need some redirection to get you on the right track?
Let’s pray. Father, thank you for the gentle reminder to be listening for you. I don’t want to be going off in the wrong direction. I feel like the beauty around me is your way of getting my attention. Help me to focus on the right things so I can follow you closely and get to know you more. In Jesus’ name. Amen.