Passionate about persecuting those following Christ, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He acquired letters from the high priest to present to synagogues in Damascus that granted him power to take any of those who belonged to the Way to Jerusalem as prisoners. But on the road to Damascus Saul was knocked to the ground by a light from Heaven that flashed around him.
I know a dad that was absolutely passionate in his role as a financial provider for his family. He worked hard, accepted moves with his company and pursued the next promotion and associated raise in pay. When his son started having behavioral problems in middle school, he was able to set up the best counseling money could buy to address the issues. But when the counselor said, “Your son is fine. He just needs his dad interested and involved in his life,” my friend was knocked to the ground emotionally.
Get Paul: “He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting.’ He replied, ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ … ‘This man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.’” – Acts 9:4-5, 15. Saul was the only one in his group who discerned the Lord’s voice but he heard Him loud and clear. When he got up, he was blind. He went into the city and did not eat or drink anything for three days. Then Ananias came to the house and gave Saul the instructions from the Lord. His eyes were opened and from that point on a passion that had been used for evil was turned to develop one of the most prolific disciples of our Lord. His writings reflect a 3-fold process to tune in: He turned his body, “….make it my slave so that … I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1Cor.9:25). He turned his mind, “…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2Cor.10:5). And he turned his spirit, “Do not get drunk on wine. … Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph.5:18). My friend, as with most of us dads, needed help to tune in to the Lord’s voice in the midst of busy-ness that is life. The counselor’s words got his attention. The passion he had to provide well for his family was turned to a passion for relationship with the Lord, in marriage and with his son.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the example of Paul. I praise You for the times you have knocked me down to get my attention, to turn me from the busy-ness of this world. If I am to become the father You expect me to be, the father the next generation needs, I must turn as Paul did with disciplines that keep my body, mind and spirit tuned in to You. Guide me with time in prayer, scripture, worship, study and fasting, that I may tune in and turn to You as a modern-day Paul in my family and beyond. Amen.
A faithful father gets Paul by tuning in and turning to the Lord.