[Paul speaking before the crowd:] "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.' My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me."
Thoughts for Today:Sometime ago my older son Ryan and I were discussing Paul's conversion experience and how the Lord appeared personally and directly before Paul. My son commented it would be difficult for anyone not to be converted if the Lord showed Himself in such a dramatic way. He then asked me if I had ever had a "Damascus Road" type of experience. My answer: almost every day, because that's how often I read God's Word.
The Bible tells us in Psalms 18:2, "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." And in Psalms 27:1, "The LORD is my light and my salvation -- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life -- of whom shall I be afraid?" These are incredibly strong words that speak not only about the source of our strength and protection, but also the nature of our relationship with God, which is intended to be personal. So how do we develop this relationship? The answer is hidden in a little phrase that can be easily overlooked: "and the horn of my salvation."
In Old Testament times a horn (a trumpet call) was used to signal important events. It was a means of getting everyone's attention, a call to worship for example. The Bible and the embodiment of the Word in Jesus is the Lord's "horn" ("He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David", speaking of Jesus in Luke 1:69). The question is: Are we paying attention? When someone complains they haven't had a personal "Road" experience, I always wonder: how much time is spent listening to God through His Word? Isn't it interesting how people can read God's Word yet not hear his voice, not develop a relationship, and never have their own Damascus Road experience?
Questions to Ponder:When was the last time God spoke to you directly and unmistakably? Do you long for that type of relationship with the Father? If so, how much time have you actually spent reading the Bible over the last five days? I'll bet that you like all of us probably spent more time watching television, talking on the phone, or participating in some other activity more than reading God's Word. It's funny how we then wonder why God isn't speaking to us. Every time I begin to have that thought -- I reach for my Bible -- I guarantee that you too will have your own personal encounter with the Lord if you will only seek Him through His Word. Will you begin today? As you read listen for God's voice.