“Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.
As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.
And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”-Acts 9:1-6
Verizon wireless promoted its service through a commercial with a guy going all over the place asking one question, “can you hear me now”? This commercial hits home because if you have ever had a cell phone call in a bad location where the reception was terrible, then you get it. In the commercial, it always ends the same way. After the question is asked, someone on the other line that we can’t hear says yes, and the Verizon man says, “good.”
There was a man named Saul who struggled to hear God’s will for his life. This man was deeply religious and a hater of the followers of Jesus, who were referred to as people of the way. It was his plan in the high priest’s name to capture and bring as many as he could to Jerusalem for punishment. His journey takes him to Damascus, but on the road, he begins to have significant issues with his cell service. Jesus is forced to get his attention, and he asks Saul can you hear me now?
Saul used his power and influence to try to stop the Jesus movement. He couldn’t see what God was doing and going to do. These followers of the way were challenging the traditions that he held so dear. He had to learn that you cannot box God in.
I often believe that the Holy Spirit is trying to move in our midst and do new things, but we are so determined that God doesn’t work that way that we miss it. I heard the Arch Bishop of Canterbury say in a sermon many years ago that the Methodist existed because the Anglicans could not recognize a movement of the Spirit. The Pentecostal church existed because the Methodists could not identify a movement of the Spirit. Then he asked what God doing today that we can’t recognize because our position blinds us is.
When Saul’s eyes were opened, he became Paul, and never has there been an evangelist like him. Let us keep praying for God to show us new expressions of the Holy Spirit and give us eyes that can see