We have been looking at the encounter that God had Saul who later becomes the apostle Paul in the last couple of posts. Look to Acts 9 and get picture of what happened and how God encountered Saul. Click here to read Acts 9:1-25. We have looked at that we should never forget that unbelievers can change and be converted and once someone is converted it should become “not I but Christ” and that should show clearly in our lives. Our lives should also reflect the fact that Jesus wants us to know Him intimately and when that happens we are transformed by knowing Him. That then leads to these next couple of thoughts.
Sometimes we can’t explain the experience of what happened in an encounter, we can only testify to the transforming power of Jesus Christ. It is all about the transforming power of Christ in our lives! On two occasions in his life, Saul gave testimony of his conversion on the Damascus road. In neither of those testimonies did he try to explain what happened in the experience. He emphasized the radical transformation in his life. Before he was converted, he was a Christ-hating Jew who wanted to persecute the Church and after he met Jesus Christ, he became a preacher of the gospel and proclaimer of Christ. Saul became someone focused on the right things in life and that is what a transformed life is – it is going from a wrong focus to a right one. Paul writes this so well in Philippians 1:21 "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” That is the right focus because it is all about Christ!
That brings about this point: People around us don’t understand what is happening when we encounter Christ. The people with Saul did not understand what Saul heard or saw. Acts 22:9 records Paul saying this; “And those who were with me saw the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me.” They knew something happened but what happened they did not know. When we meet Jesus Christ, we march to a different drumbeat. Our friends who do not know Jesus Christ – should do not understand our motives, or our objectives. If you have people who are not believers in Christ understanding everything you do then you might not be living like you should! If the world understand every decision that the church you attend and I attend then we might be making worldly decisions and not faith decisions. Consider what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:18-27 – NAS -18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.
So if people understand everything that we are doing as individuals or as a churches, then we need to begin to rethink where we are getting our wisdom and what it is we are doing! We need to do things God’s way and not ours and God’s way will look foolish to those who do not know him.
What do you think? Do you think people should understand the things we do as individuals or churches? Why or why not?