Friday, September 7, 2012

Journey through Acts 9 - A {transformed} Heart

This is day 2 of our Transformation series.  For day one, please click here

When we left off yesterday, Saul was on the road to Damascus on a mission to find and imprison believers of the recently crucified Jesus.  Saul was walking with his companions and was suddenly accosted by a blinding, white light from Heaven.  We talked about how sometimes we feel like we have it all together - like Saul thought.  Then out of the blue, some blinding trial comes our way and hinders our sight - something that has the ability to transform us from what we think we are into what God designed us to be.

I imagine myself as Saul - how that must have felt like.  About a year of so ago, my daughter and I went with her homeschool group to Desoto Caverns.  It's amazing, really.  It's a series of geologic caves and a tourist attraction located in Childersburg, Alabama.  The main room of the cavern is twelve stories high, and larger than a football field.  In 2 words, it's massive!

It's filled with chairs and once all the children come in and take a seat, the presentation begins.  The tour guide draws everyone's attention to the little lights that dot the surface of the cave.  While it's not terribly bright in there, your eyes can adjust enough to the darkness that you can see what's around you.  However, when they turn the lights off, that's it.  Nothing.  You can't see your hand in front of your face.  After a minute or two, they turn the lights back on and you can see again.  Barely.

After an hour in the caves, upon your ascent out of the cave the light from the outside gets brighter and brighter.  So bright in fact, that you have to shield your eyes and maybe even squint.  Of course this example isn't quite as extreme as what Saul went through, but it does give you an idea of how he must have felt.

The Bible says that it came in an instant, or suddenly.  BAM!  Has this ever happened to you?  You're sailing along, happy go lucky, husband has a great job, life is good and SPLAT!  The rug comes flying out from under you.  Your husband gets fired/laid off/hurt on the job, bills pile up, kids start acting out - you feel as if you can't see the way out.  You've been blinded by life...  
(I may be interjecting my own life here but this is all about being real. lol )

When these times come, it can prevent growth - even for a long time Christian.  Especially for a long time Christian.  We get weary - it's the same old routine.  We can learn from Saul though...

The first thing Saul did after he asked, 'Who are you?' was to pick himself up up off the ground.  This is revelation to me.  He did not wallow in the mud, he did not lay there and pitch a fit about not being able to see, He didn't question God further (which is in direct opposition to what Ananias does a few verses below).  Saul simply got up and did what God told him to do.  He started walking.

He performed an 'action'.  It's easy for us to lay in a pile of questioning sorrow when the unthinkable happens.  As women and mothers, we do so much for people even to the point of laying aside our own needs and desires that it seems very unfair when circumstances take us to places we wish we didn't have to go through.  Even still, we have to walk. 

We still have to walk in faith.  We still have to walk in courage.  We still have to walk in the truth that God is who He says He is and that His Will includes us being shown His unmerited favor and peace.

Only then can we see the manifestations of His blessings.  Only then can we rise above the trappings of this world, releasing our fears and bitterness from our hearts and thoughts.  It's in that place of pure trust that our hearts become one with God.  It will not be us having to do anything - it will Him through us.  

Beloved, I know that these days aren't easy.  I know that sometimes it's hard to get up and walk anywhere.  I also know that some days, the greatest act of faith is getting out of bed.  It's okay.  God honors all of it.  

Don't wallow.  Trust in who God is.

This is what God says, ... “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.  Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.  It’s bursting out!  Don’t you see it?  There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands."  Isaiah 43:18-19 (MSG)
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJV) 

“The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.” Job 17:9 (NLT)


No comments:

Post a Comment