Daily Thoughts : February 9th
Acts 9:8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.
There are times, it seems, when God takes strong measures to deal with people. Yes, much of the time He seems to deal with us so gently, but those He is going to really use, He sometimes deals very strongly with. Saul had been persecuting the church with a misguided zeal. He had a good heart for God but it was completely misguided! The Lord has plans for Him. He knows He can take and use this man; it just needs a little handling!
Thus it is that on the road to Damascus Saul has a serious encounter with the Lord. Suddenly the glory of the Lord (we suggest) shone around him. So bright was it that it blinded him and he fell to the ground. A voice from heaven challenges him and He knows who he has met! This seemingly powerful young man is rendered incapable of anything by the glory of the Lord. It now needs those who are travelling with him to lead him by the hand into Damascus. He's helpless on his own!
Zechariah had an encounter with the Lord and was left speechless (Lk 1). These were both good men and these were both acts of chastising which left them powerless – but both of them have got things to do to further God's kingdom. The Lord could have destroyed both of them but that wasn't His intention. It was simply to teach both these servants of His who was boss. From now on Saul (Paul) would realise that he was utterly dependant on the Lord. What we have been considering here is God's discipline which always comes to change us for the better. God disciplines those He loves (Heb 12:6) because in His love for us He has something better on His heart for us and He knows that sometimes that 'better' can only come through painful discipline. "Endure hardship as discipline" (Heb 12:7)
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