24 June 2015 - clay
We know who calls us
3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him,“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
– Acts 9:3-4
I think most of the time when we hear the story of Paul’s conversion, we tend to think that Paul didn’t actually know who Jesus was. The way the story plays out, most of us probably think that this was the first time Paul had heard Jesus’ voice.
After Jesus asks him the question above, Paul says “Who are you, Lord?” Notice how he ended that sentence. It wasn’t just, “Who are you?” He knew exactly who was calling him at that moment. Paul was extremely well versed in the Scriptures of that time[footnote]The Old Testament were the only scripture he would have had, especially since he wrote most of the New Testament and wasn’t a follower of Christ at this point.[/footnote] Paul had been a Pharisee, and it is more than likely that he encountered Jesus a time or two. It is just as likely that he could have been in Jerusalem when Jesus was put on trial. He might have even been there at His crucifixion.
All this to say, Paul knew Jesus’ voice. He knew exactly who was calling out to him and who had blinded him. I that brief moment after Jesus asked why Paul was persecuting Him, Paul knew. Paul probably had flashbacks to all the things he had done while persecuting Christians, and anything he may have said against Christ while He was still on earth. In that instant, Paul knew everything he had known was wrong. The ideas that he had been willing to sentence people to death for were wrong. Otherwise, why would he have addressed Jesus as Lord?
So many of us run from our calling. We try to fill that void with work, money, sex, entertainment of various kinds, but it still gnaws at us. No matter what we do, there is still that voice in the back of our head calling out to us, giving us our call again. We know who the voice is, but yet we don’t answer it. Why?
Don’t misunderstand, I’m not just talking about people who are being called into full-time ministry or missionary placements. I’m talking about the calling of our every day lives. We’re being called to be a better father, a more dedicated student, an exemplary worker, or a stay at home parent. And yet, we ignore it. We decide that we know better than God what our path should be, and we follow that one instead. Still, the voice calls us.
What voice is calling you? When will you answer it?