Life Changing Questions

Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 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.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank (Acts 9:1-9).

The man we know as the apostle Paul (formerly known as Saul) was a persecutor of Christians before he met Christ on the Damascus road. Certainly, as a devout Jew and a Pharisee, he had prayed many times to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The first time he spoke to Jesus Christ, it is revealing that as he heard His voice, he knew that he must address Him as Lord.

When he discovered the God he was defending was the same God he was persecuting, Paul had only one option: to give everything he had to serve the Lord Jesus Christ . . . . Faced with the fact of the sacrifice of Jesus on his behalf was all it took for Paul to live the rest of his life in obedience to His will. His prayers were always reverent but bold, knowing that his faith was in a God who loves, forgives, and desires to communicate with His children. . . . (from The Prayer Driven Life, Stephanie B. Blake)

In his encounter with Jesus, he asked two questions that changed his life. Those two questions can and should change ours as well.

“Who are you, Lord?”

How you answer, “Who are You, Lord?” determines how you live your life. Who is Jesus Christ to you? Is He just the babe in the manger that is the reason for Christmas celebrations? Is He like a passing stranger who has rescued you from peril (eternal death), one who merits gratitude but who has no lasting claim on your life? Have you fully realized the implications of His Lordship in your life?

If you ask the question, as Paul did, “Who are You, Lord?” you must deal with His answer. You have to decide what to do with the claims He makes about Himself. Paul later wrote if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. . . . for “whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:9, 13 NAS).

He deserves to be your Lord because of who He is and what He did on your behalf. A lord is someone you follow, someone who rules. If you understand the love for you that drove Jesus to the cross, then you must love Him in return, we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19), and give Him the place He deserves in your life.

In an instant, Paul understood that he had been wrong about Jesus. He was indeed the promised Messiah. With that realization, he gave his heart to Him in faith trusting Him as His Savior and committing to serve Him as Lord. Jesus invites each of us to do the same. If you are not sure that you have trusted Jesus as Savior and Lord, settle that issue right now. The Bible says “you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13b).

God’s relationship with mankind is all about His loving grace. Even before Adam and Eve chose to sin in the Garden of Eden, God knew that He would provide a way back to Him through the sinless life, sacrificial death and miraculous resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ. Anyone who recognizes the reality of sin in his life; repents of that sin; and invites Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord becomes a child of God and will live with Him forever. Eternity is a reality for us all. Those who choose Jesus are adopted into God’s family and will go to Heaven when they die. Those who reject Him will spend eternity separated from God in a literal Hell.

Becoming a Christian is not just about going to heaven when you die, but how you live the rest of your life. Jesus wants to be and deserves to be the Lord of your life. So, just like Paul, our next logical question is:

“Lord, what do You want me to do?”

Read this question with the following emphases.

  • “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
  • “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
  • “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15 NASB).

Scripture tells us that after his conversion, Paul was immediately obedient. He followed the Lord’s instruction without question.

If Saul had asked the question, but then walked away without hearing the answer, he would not have become the apostle Paul. When you pray, do you wait to hear what God has to say to you? Record a prayer asking God to enable you to hear Him through His word, His Spirit, His body, and any other means by which He desires to speak to you.

Paul told Agrippa, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19). Will you be able to tell Jesus when you meet Him in Heaven, “I was not disobedient to your call on my life?” Ask Him to help you know His will and do it.

Do you have a “big picture” of God’s will for you? That does not mean that you know in advance each step He wants you to take, for He gives you direction as you need it. It means that you realize that whatever plan He has for you, it is to bring glory to His name.

Paul was also able to say at the end of his life, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). Even with his background, Paul knew the Lord had forgiven him. His life from his conversion on was to do God’s will. Will you be able to say the same thing about your own life? Have you started the good fight? Are you keeping the faith?

 

Stephanie B. Blake

© November 2014

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