Message: In Acts 9 Saul is at war against all
those who call on the name of Jesus. He is on a personal mission to arrest and
throw into prison any of them that he can find because he fully believes he is
doing this on God’s behalf. In the middle of it all he has his encounter with
Jesus where he is suddenly blinded by a bright light, thrown off his horse and
hears the voice of Jesus himself asking why he is persecuting him. This story
is so famous that even non-believers use common references to the idioms we
have drawn from it. One of the most popular phrases we hear is “blinded by the
light” or “knocked off his high horse”. As I was reading this again today, I
was thinking about Paul’s sudden blindness and I realized that he had always been
spiritually blind, and God had used the sudden physical blindness to reveal
this to him. The scariest part about being blind and deceived is that you don’t
even know it! Paul fully believed he was doing the work of God when he
persecuted the church. He saw himself in right standing with God as a very
devout and well-educated Jew enforcing God’s law. It must have been a total
shock to him when he heard Jesus speak to him the way that he did.
Command: Don’t become so academically right
that I am unable to recognize God when he reveals himself to me.
Promise: Nobody is unreachable. Saul was moving
in the opposite direction when God literally knocked him down to have a real
encounter with him.
Warning: We can be so right in what we know
that we miss God himself.
Application: I have always been afraid of the possibility of blindly
living in deception. The truth is, we are all blind and deceived about a lot of
things, but nobody wants to get caught realizing they were moving in the wrong
direction. I have had to accept that we will always have things we are blinded
to, but my prayer is that I would allow my heart to be in a place where God is
able to teach me and reveal truth to me without having to knock the pride out
of me to do it. 1 Peter 5:5 says that God resists the proud but gives grace to
the humble. I don’t want to find myself working against God so I’m asking God
to keep my heart tender and teachable. That I wouldn’t become so attached to my
own ideas of truth that I prevent God’s voice from getting to my heart when he
speaks to me.