It’s all been over, a whole year of a roller coaster ride, and a cloudy glimpse of life. An obvious struggles fight to live. Seeing dear ones suddenly returning their life to the Creator and strangers battling to survive a catastrophe. Even yourself, if not awaken; still in great fear for life survival. Haven’t you wonder how did you make it this far in your life? Haven’t you considered there’s someone more crucial in your existence?
All are into life’s journey. A journey no one knows it’s end. Each one has to follow a path; either he likes or not the way. Along the way, many obstacles strike you, challenge and even could knock you down. It could be exhausting when you take the load alone while in the unknown. Never forget the other side of it would be rewarding and invigorating if you’re well directed by rightful guide.
As you journey the new year, the path you’ll take will not be easy and could cause your everything. Your baggages may weaken you and tempting you to retreat or give up! Expect detours and blockages ahead, but one thing you must not forget is the One who put you there is a great guide once you accept and permit Him to lead the best way for you.
I challenge you to consider one person who made it through passing a road with unexpected encounter that changed fully his life. “Saul” or I say Paul’s journey to Damascus road is significant to all believers of Christ Jesus, especially for gentiles. The man who passed the road; faced his loving adversary and an amazing, saving foe. This made a huge detour in his life.
“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.” Acts 22:3-5 NIV
The encounter in your road to Damascus:
1. Why you’re in that road?
Choices in life may sometimes not be good and could lead you to destruction. With God’s unconditional love , He allows all to exercise freedom, a choice of one’s freewill. You are where you are at this point in your life because like Paul you wanted it. Others may say “I have no choice, the situations are uncontrollable.“ No enough reasons can justify your current pace without your main approval. Road signs can help you decide the whole thing. Road signs are signs erected at the side of or above roads to give instructions or provide information to road users. These are just helpful warnings of dangers and destructions ahead.
The road signs are just guide for a safe and meaningful journey but it could not change your reason of passing that way. What’s the purpose of your life will determine the pace you’re heading to. Paul need to be in that road because: “I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.” Acts 22:4-5 NIV
The road you’re in is essential to your past, present and future life’s endeavors. Would it be best to say: you’re in it because of Jesus? Not against Him but for standing, defending your faith for Him! Aiming something good for life with Jesus as great part of it. Not even doubting His leading in your chosen path!
2. What kind of encounter you deserve?
“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ “ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. “ ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ Acts 22:6-10 NIV
What’s your dream encounter with Jesus? Would it be a good meaningful conversation with the Lord, Or an eventful of a correction, punishment, chastising, damnation or a reward?Nothing is hidden from the Lord, He knows fully your thoughts, fears and aspirations. Would it be nice if in this encounter,you’ll still have chance to know who Jesus is, enjoying His company and made known your deepest self to Him? Don’t ever wish for heavenly things to occur if you’re not worthy for such exposure, for like Paul you will lose your sight : “My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.” Acts 22:11 NIV. Nothing who’s not filled with the Holy Spirit can enjoy and endure the wondrous presence of Jesus! Everyone deserve to know Jesus and experience His great love, but all merit a punishment as well for a sinful acts.
3. The encounter as relates to the end times
“When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’ “ ‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ Acts 22:17-21 NIV
In this end times, it’s very crucial whose you’re working for. Your values and mandates could reflect an agenda that would usher to both life and death. The life of Paul embodies cruelty and punishments to believers of Christ. He once became an advocate for evil plans to occurred and flourished. Mandated to manipulate, torture and put believers of Christ in tribulations. Your beliefs and ideals are critical and decisive in determining the spiritual battles in your life and the expansion of evils in this world! Would you wait for God’s encounter before you turn over your life to Jesus? Would you just accept to be punished and keep the evil mandates of “kill, destroy and deceive” human race?
Now a days, we are heading to same situation; where followers of Jesus would face a great persecution for standing up to their faith and not complying to the evil mandates impose by powerful people. May this encounter to the road of Damascus still be prevalent to anyone, for a change of heart and direction! In the realm of God’s love there is always forgiveness and change for anyone willing to be corrected and molded by the Holy Spirit. By His grace you can do something to stop harming God’s people by giving your life to God and not be one of them.Ask and be lead by the Holy Spirit as you take the road ahead. When you meet Jesus on the road of life grab the chances it might come only once. In this crucial end times, seducing spirits are everywhere, discern the True Light to lighten your path, even if it cause to sacrifice your sight to abide by it leading to eternal life. Be open for God’s encounter with a humble and obedient heart. A prideful heart perishes but good change happens for a humble heart! Jesus will lead you home!