On the Way to Damascus
Have you ever been on a journey, driving down the freeway toward your planned destination, when something happens that completely changes your plans? You are heading one way and suddenly, out of nowhere, you find yourself making different turns and going a new direction? I know it’s happened to me.
Something like that happened to the apostle Paul.
When we read Acts 9:1–8, we see that Paul’s plans (he was known as Saul at this point) changed radically. He saw a heavenly light, he heard a heavenly voice, and he was immediately sent on a heavenly mission. This was the beginning of Paul’s new hard-pressed lifestyle, having his heart in heaven and his hand in the harvest willing to serve other’s needs.
Why was his heart so quickly focused on heaven? The answer is in one word: Jesus. Paul so easily and eagerly committed his heart to having a heavenly focus because of the mercy, forgiveness, redemption, and kindness that Jesus, the Son of God, showed to a murderer (before his conversion Paul was a leading opponent of Christianity. See Acts 7 & 8). Paul’s heart instantly went to heaven because of this incredible loving kindness of Jesus Christ from heaven. This is also why, after hearing from the Lord, he said, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” Heaven changed Paul’s heart; therefore, his hand was ready to work in the harvest.
Paul immediately began to preach Jesus Christ as the Savior, Messiah, and Son of God in the synagogues (Acts 9:20). Can you imagine the wonder this brought to the Jews in Damascus? The man who was once a principal leader against Jesus and His followers was now preaching that He is the Son of God in their synagogues. Here’s the deal: Once heaven really touches your heart, your hand will really be in the harvest.
How has what Jesus has done for you changed your perspective and focus?
Do Jesus forgiveness, redemption and kindness cause your hand to reach out to others? If not, are you willing to change your focus away from the things of this earth and onto heaven?