“And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’”
Acts 22:7–8, ESV
Having at one time been angry with the Church, there are parts of Saul’s, also known as Paul, conversion story. I can’t say that I was zealous for God in my reason for being against the Christian faith, but I was one who had been hurt by her people. Thankfully, God changed my heart similarly to what happened to Paul. I didn’t have a road to Damascus experience, and Jesus didn’t come to me in a great light, but He did enter and redirect my plan. Not everyone will have a dramatic experience or be as aggressively against Christ as Paul. I believe most people are caught up in a quiet revolt against God in a desire to stand with the culture. God, however, does not want us to be lukewarm in our faith. He desires us to either have a burning desire to proclaim Him or offer refreshment to those wandering down dangerous paths onto paths that may lead them to Christ. Our callings are different, and how our Lord desires to utilize us is unique to what our Lord has placed within us, but God wants us to know fully what He has called us to do. Every follower of Christ has a calling and gift meant to build up His Church and bring others to know Christ. For Paul, it was to utilize his zeal for God and bring Christ to the non-Jewish people. When we do things that damage the faith, it is Christ who we are attacking. Christ is forgiving and gracious, and when we listen to His call, He will show us how we can be a part of drawing others into the faith regardless of what we may have done in the past. In Christ, we are made new, and Christ’s hope and promise are settled in the newness of life He has prepared for us. Listen to where He is calling you.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.