The Culmination of Pursuit — Sunday Thought For The Day
Christians and churchgoers are familiar with the Damascus Road experience of Saul, who was to become the Apostle Paul. The account is found in the New Testament Book of Acts 9:1-9 (KJV). If you have spent any amount of time attending church, you have almost certainly heard of the account of how Saul was on his way to Damascus to round up Christian men and women to bring them back to Jerusalem to be tortured and slain for their belief in Christ. You have heard that a light shined from heaven and that Saul heard the voice of Jesus. (See: Acts 9:3-6 KJV) As a result of that encounter with Christ, Saul was converted and went on to become the Apostle Paul, author of 13 of the 27 New Testament Books of the Bible. He is referenced and spoken of more than any other Apostle.
But, as I said in a recent bible study, the title for a sermon about the life changing experience of Paul’s Damascus Road journey, might be better named: “The Culmination of Pursuit.” Here’s why.
What is seldom, if ever preached about Paul’s Damascus Road experience is that it didn’t just happen. God, through the work of the Holy Spirit had been speaking to Paul’s heart when he was yet known as Saul, for some years.
Paul, saw his friend Barnabas converted and become a follower of Christ. (See: Acts 4:36 KJV). Paul was at the very least very much aware, if in fact he was not present, when the revered Gamaliel warned against doing the Apostles harm for their preaching of Jesus Christ. (See: Acts 5:34-39 KJV). And he, Paul was undoubtedly haunted in his heart for the martyrdom of Stephen and his role in same. (See: Acts 6:15; 7:59-8:1 KJV)
Thus, I believe Saul, as he was then known, was moved to vengeance and brutal violence toward Christians because the Spirit of God was calling him; and the more he refused to give his life to Christ the more bitter and vengeful he became. Until, that is, Christ gave him one last chance. And let there be no doubt, the Damascus Road was his last chance. Who knows what fate awaited him if he had rejected Christ at that point.
Saul is not alone in experiencing the anguish of resentment and bitterness that arises when we reject the call of Christ and when we remain resolutely disobedient. And it is not just the unsaved who experience this.
I have seen many Christians who are afflicted with the same anguish and deeply rooted bitterness as they fight to refuse to be obedient to the call and will of Christ for their life. They are running from the pursuit of the Holy Spirit.
Today, if you are one of these I have mentioned, isn’t it worth asking God to lay aside your bitterness and self-inflicted misery and allow Christ to heal your brokenness? He is only a prayer away.
READ: Galatians 5:22-26
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here