The change in Saul can take place in us all
As I was doing a study on Saul who became Paul, I realized that so many times we think that God cannot change us. This is truly one of my favorite stories in the Bible. I think for a lot of people it is, especially if they have been in the place that maybe some have not been. If they have lived a rougher life, have been rebellious against God, or just didn’t believe in Him at all and if they have ever persecuted a believer or said something out of foolishness.
You see so many times, I was rebellious. I was raised in a family that acted Christian on the outside but I saw the inside of most of them and I become very critical of God. I was the “adopted” granddaughter of a female Preacher and was raised in very strict and very abusive environment. An environment that was thought to be the right way, for this was what the “Church” preached.
So I found myself in many ways like Saul. I hated Christians, or anyone who claimed to be one. I figured if they could make it to heaven and lie, drink, cheat, and everything else under the sun, well, I could make it in too. I became very abusive to Christians. I turned away from the Church and I went into the direction of the world of drugs, and alcohol and “swarping” (as we say here). I figured that these things would fill the emptiness that I felt and I would lash out at anyone who tried to come to me with anything that had to do with God, the Church, or anything that looked like it or sounded like it.
Let’s face it: I had no faith and I no longer believed in a God that allowed bad things through and by His so-called people. I was angry and bitter and I was truly blinded by this world and the things that I saw around me. I lived this way for about eight years; I wanted nothing to do with anything that had to do with God. I had gotten away from Him and all the hurt that seemed to come with Him, or at least that is what I thought …
We all have some kind of Damascus experience in our lives. It may not be as extravagant as that of Saul, but somewhere in our lives, God shows up on our road to nowhere and He speaks to our hearts and we realize that we have been so wrong. I came to my road, shucks, I was hanging over the cliff, and He was calling my name … “Linda, Linda, why do you see me through your eyes? Do you not realize I am not who you see in others, I am who you see when you see the true me, through my word. You have felt my spirit, you know that I was with you in some of your worst times, and now you have run from me, but I was always here. I said I would never leave you nor forsake you and I have kept my promise.”
Now it was my time to do what I was supposed to do. It hasn’t been easy. I would love to say that just like Saul, that God changed my name and I became someone else right away, but I have had to battle and I have had to push through the crowd and persevere to just catch a glimpse of the true God much less touch the hem of His garment. But I keep pressing onward, knowing somehow I will get to Him and I will finally be made whole.
As I was doing my study, God reminded me that though it seems we can never get better, that God can never change us, all things are possible with God. Paul, even after being brought into the apostleship, still said that He was the worst sinner … He knew that what he had done was a great disservice to God and the Kingdom but oh, the service that he did once he received his change … what a difference he made for the kingdom of the Almighty God. Here are some things that Jumped out at me:
1.)Saul, a man who killed because of the Gospel would become a man who would be willing to die for the Gospel.
2.) Saul a man who hated God and anything to do with the believing of the Gospel, would become one for Gods greatest apostles and the defender of the Faith.
3.)Now a man who would be sought by the Jews and the Grecian to utterly destroy Him.
4.)The very ones He chose to try to in-prison and kill , now would be his brethern and those that HE would work closely with to share the “Good News.”
5.)A man who trusted no-one now would not be trusted, but was a chosen vessel of God almighty.
6.)Blind to the truth, was blinded by the “Truth” that the scales fell from His eyes that He might finally see freely.
7.)A man crooked in all His ways, now on the road called straight.
8.)A man spitting out accusations at the church and against God, would now stand before men to have the same done unto Him
9.)The Gospel that he once hated passionately He now had a passion for.
10.)The Word that He so zealously sought to put an end to being heard would not only be heard even the more but He would be one speaking it.
11.)The man who once made men, women and children suffer for the name of Christ, would now suffer for the same name
12.)He who once brought those who spoke of Christ and threw them in prison, would now call Himself a “Prisoner of Christ.”
13.)Resulting in those that had once ran in fear of a man who sought to kill and destroy them, now rested in lived in the “Fear of the Lord,”
14.) God changed His name and made a “New” man out of Saul. He changed not only His name, but His heart and the way that He saw others, the word and Most of all the God of all Glory.”
Don”t ever give up the faith that God can change you into that person. He has told you that you can or will become. Just know that He will finish that which He has begun. He is able to do all things and if He can change Saul into a Paul, He can by all means change us all.
I pray that you change me Lord, to always bring you Glory.
Help me to put away me and only allow you to shine through. I pray Lord that where ever I may come up short that you will show up and call me on it, strengthen me and show me how to love and serve others with your heart. I pray Lord that you will change me also into someone that you can be proud of and that I can change the place around me. I ask you to help me through to always do all I do for you In Jesus name, Amen.
"Change my heart ol’ God, make it ever true, Change my heart ol’ God may I be like you."