And he said, "Who are you Lord? . . ." Acts 9:5
Salvation is both a vital and vigorous thing. The outcome of the in-working of Jesus is peace. But, it also requires bravery, courage and holiness. Salvation takes hold of a heart and tests it for all it's worth. The work of God in Christ makes us sons and daughters of God. He will not shield us from the requirements of Sonship.
Through the miracle of salvation, Saul of Tarsus was changed from a strong-willed, forceful, religious zealot into a humble, devoted, bond servant of Jesus. Though Saul’s conversion was a dramatic one, we should not let the drama cover the development of this moment. Saul’s sudden conversion had been years in the making.
Saul’s radical conversion reached far back into the recesses of his inner life. The actual explosion of salvation was immediate. Under the surface there had been a long fuse burning which had been lit many years before. Gradually, the flame burned nearer and nearer to the explosive center.
Saul was a divided soul, torn between the demands of the law and his own conscience. Between what he wanted to do and what he actually did, between the rigorous demands of religion and the winsome, liberating ways of Jesus’ relationship with the heavenly Father.
Preparation comes before salvation. Through a series of events the heart is made ready and brought into a state of willingness. At first there must be desire for change, along with some knowledge of Jesus so they will recognize Him when they see Him; they are equipped with the belief that perils of a divided life are dangerous enough to make them look for anything that will bring all the splintered areas of life together. The change can only be outbid in the saving work of Christ.
Is your heart divided between love of the world and loyalty to Jesus?