Salvation happens in a moment, maturity takes place over a lifetime. The process of progress in Christlikeness is called discipleship. A disciple is one who is continuously being pressed towards obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their life. This week we look at the life of Paul and how God deconstructed and reconstructed him into a fully devoted Christ-follower. Take some time as you read to contemplate where you are in your discipleship with Jesus. We would also love for you to share this devotional with your friends.
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,” Romans 8:16
Collisions are never planned, they are always a shock to the system. Just as there are physical collisions, there are spiritual collisions. Collisions are the result of living on a trajectory of an old story that’s gained velocity and finally collides with reality. Every spiritual collision presents us with two decisions, we can either stay in denial, or we can accept the moment as an opportunity for change.
It’s difficult to imagine a more unlikely convert to Christianity than Saul. Educated in the most elite school of religion by one of Israel’s most distinguished rabbis; a son of a Pharisee and prepared to be a radical Jewish zealot, who lived according to the strictest sect of Judaism. Then, one day in a flash of light it was over. Saul’s old religious story collided with the new story of Jesus. A divine collision with Christ strips us of our religious rhetoric and hypocrisy and leaves us bowing in humility with a heart awakened to the identity of the King.
On the road, Saul was stopped in his tracks and physically knocked to the ground. His lifelong pursuit of religious perfection was coming apart, all he had believed was breaking down. A collision with the presence of Jesus changes things, it reorients our life in a totally new direction.
The saving of Saul now meant his hostile prejudice toward Christians was gone. The people he had sought to destroy now became channels of compassion, healing and personal ministry.
When your story collides with the story of Jesus, long-held beliefs and practices do change. In the presence of Jesus nothing can remain the same. The contrast between our old story and Jesus’ story, is that it leads into a whole new way of living.
Maybe you see yourself in Saul’s journey. Like Saul, you’ve held back certain parts of your heart and refused to submit to God’s word, creating a disconnect between your knowledge of God and knowing the living. You might begin by asking Saul’s question: “Who are you, Lord?” Now listen closely for Jesus’ reply to you.