A DAMASCUS ROAD OR A LIFELONG ADVENTURE

When people think of the life changing power of Jesus, they often refer to the experience of the Apostle Paul on the Damascus road. There, with a blinding light and the voice of the Lord, his direction was changed and history was deeply impacted. Most of the Christians that I have known through the years admire the experience of Paul, but have no story of a “Damascus road” turning point. Is there another model for the power of God to change lives? Consider Abraham. He was a prosperous and powerful man living in Ur of the Chaldees when he heard the voice of God simply say “Go to a land that I will show you.” There was no map. There was no specific destination. There was a journey to take following an unseen voice that simply bid him to follow. The minute he started the journey he was in a relationship. He had to leave some things behind. He left his land and his people. He left their religious traditions. He likely left their polytheism for the belief in one God who should never be represented by a graven image. Though he took his flocks and herds, he must have left enormous wealth behind. We know he had servants. I am sure some of them were very puzzled about this journey. They perhaps grumbled behind his back that he had lost his mind. His decision affected them too. Our decisions to follow Jesus always affect others. That is why they sometimes seek to turn us aside. Our choice to follow the Lord makes them uncomfortable. I would say that most of the Christians that I have known have had the journey experience of a lifelong adventure like that of Abraham. In fact a case could be made that this was the experience of Peter, Andrew, James, and John when they left their fishing business to take up the Lord’s business. Even those who do not change vocations change their perspective dramatically. I heard a football coach once say, “I used to be all about my job as a coach, but now that is how I make a living and my real vocation is to honor the Lord and influence others to know and follow Him.” That is surely a different journey. Have you started your journey of following Jesus yet? It begins with one step. Won’t you take it now?

Dan Wooldridge

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