Bam! A blinding light shines down. One “soon to be apostle” flies off his horse and hits the dirt.
As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” Acts 9:3-5
Saul (soon to be Paul) resisted Jesus in every way. With all his religious fervor, he believed he was the defender of the faith, even to the point of killing Christians. Finally Jesus says, “Enough is enough.” It’s a day of confrontation.
Truth knocks Saul off his high horse. For someone who believes he is a defender of the faith, it’s a bit humiliating when God wants to reveal Himself as He really is, not as we desire Him to be. He believed he knew who Jesus was but apparently he didn’t.
What about us? Does God humiliate us at times to reveal His Son as He really is? Does He knock us down off our high horses of pride or self-righteousness? Does He invade our safe spaces where we cling to a Jesus who babies and coddled our immaturity? Does He uproot our offenses and pride catapulting us to the dust?
Of course He does. If you truly seek to know Jesus Christ, honestly seek to know Him as He longs to reveal Himself to you, you will be challenged in a radical encounter with Jesus. With a blinding light, He will expose areas of our life. Leveling out in the dust, we can choose to look up into the eyes of truth or walk away.
We desperately need a blinding light revelation today. Light that hits us and even knocks us down but then raises us up in clear vision to see Christ as He truly is.
In Western Christianity, we tend to construct a Jesus that is very one-dimensional, created to BE who we want Him to BE. He is love. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating an abusive heavenly Father that wants humiliate us without reason. But do we know Him? Do we know Him as He is?
Jesus called Paul to be an apostle with great destiny and purpose. He hit Paul head on, not playing nice or tolerant. Jesus loved Paul with an everlasting love. He had to do it this way. Revolutionary radical people are prime targets for God’s ferocious love to hit hard. Without encounter, many of us will not move in God’s direction. We will wallow in pride, self-righteousness without the light. We will even choose to stay in our own victimization of past hurts or abuse.
Can we accept this revelation of Christ? Is it hard to imagine that not only is He filled with grace but filled with fire? How about acceptance at the same time as confrontational, challenging us with our weakness to give us His strength?
Okay so many are saying? But that’s Paul? I’m not called to a worldwide apostolic ministry? Maybe not but Jesus will do the same thing for those called to be servants, housewives, doctors, lawyers, teachers, students, janitors, or gardeners. Each of us, in our own little corner of the world, needs a blinding light to invade our sphere of influence to wake us up in order to see and know Jesus Christ. To see Him not through the lens of religion or cultural conformity but through a revelation of Himself as we hit bottom.
All around us the church at large has deconstructed Jesus down to a nice guy, our friend, and our little created divinity called to make us feel good. He becomes our safe space. We create Him in our desire and image so that our lives need not be offended or confronted with Truth. This has created a weak, powerless church unable to walk in power and authority.
Being a strong, independent and somewhat rebellious individual, Truth hit me at the lowest point in my life when things seemed bent on destruction in multiple areas – struggling marriage and family alongside internal pain and sorrow. Truth hit hard with strong powerful love basically saying to me, “Are you done doing it your way? Why do you keep resisting and hitting back so hard?”
My marriage was on the rocks and I entered a time of depression. At that point, Truth entered my life to become my Lord and Savior with a multifaceted revelation of His love. Father. Savior. Friend. Redeemer. He revealed Himself to me soft and gentle alongside firm and strong.
But He didn’t stop there with just that confrontation. Truth confronts me all the time, even now at times knocking me off of platforms of self-righteousness and pride. Truth confronts because it’s very nature is to confront. Do you know this Jesus? The One who loves you so much that He will not leave you where you are but desires to draw you up and out of your messy life into His.
By mess, I’m not just talking about the obvious but also the hidden. Not just outward acts of addiction but inward struggles of grief, anxiety or rejection. Jesus is good, all the time. When He confronts us with a hard knock or gently surrounds us with divine love, He is good. And Father God is good. And Holy Spirit is good.
Truth knocks me down and then a good Father God picks me right back up again. He doesn’t like me to stay down, although down has its good points. Down allows me to reevaluate my life in Christ along with the humiliation of being down there for all to see. It’s actually good for me. It’s time to grow up.
In relationship with truth, we never arrive but are always on journey. He does not gloat over us in humiliation but He longs for us to give it all up to follow Him on His journey. God knows the way and like a good Father He knows what’s good for us and is relentless in showing us the right way.
Allow Truth to have His way with you. You won’t regret it. Jesus is the way, the truth, the life and no man comes to the Father except through Him. Repent. Now that’s not a word that is politically correct, is it? But it means to change your mind and walk in another direction……with Him. Relinquish your life to Him. He is more than worth it.
Aren’t you tired of doing it your own way?