It seems to me there are many on the road to Damascus these days. Acts 9 tells the story of the apostle Paul’s journey to Damascus to persecute Christians. Along the way God showed up. Along the way Paul was instantly converted by the presence of the Lord. A touch from God causes vigor and hatred to turn frail in His presence. With all of the violence going on in the world today; racial lines being drawn among close friends and religious lines are being blurred among other worldly religions, is the enemy not using this rage as a road to Damascus? Is satan not dividing our house in order to persecute? After all, a house divided will not stand, right? (Mark 3:25) Are the violent ones not being used by satan as puppets?
Yesterday morning at church we had communion. Communion is always a special occasion but there was something even more poignant about this service. After the pastor’s sermon on peace, God gave him the boldness to speak about the racial division in our country today. I say boldness, because when he started speaking I must admit a spark of fear crept up my spine, I feared that someone may get offended. I quickly regained myself and realized Donna’s not in control but the Lord is in control of this service as it was a very anointed service. I feel like this is what happens many times in church, “we” try to control the service instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to have His way. As the communion began the congregation was in tears. As we all looked around at the many different races and ethnicities and the reality of Jesus’ body being broken for all of us, the kingdom of Heaven rained down in the sanctuary. We were all, in every sense of the word, united in the Body of Christ.
Then we go home. We turn on the news, get on our computers, peruse through Facebook and we see Damascus Road. We see all the “Paul’s” before his conversion. The reality is people are dying. People are dying everyday and the devil is claiming many of the souls that our Lord Jesus paid for on the Cross. The reality is many are lost forever on Damascus Road. You see, the line that is truly being drawn is between good and evil. We often say there are good and bad on both sides of the line. This could not be further from the truth. There is only good on one side and evil on the other. The color of one’s skin has not a thing to do with the division. I don’t care how we mix up the color of who killed who; evil kills both the evil and the good. Evil doesn’t recognize the line…until they see good. Darkness doesn’t see the light until the light is revealed.
There is something else my pastor said that really jumped out at me. It was at the end of the service while praying. To be honest, I’m not sure this is exactly what he said or if it is just what I heard. While praying He asked for people to make peace with God so they will know His peace. Fireworks began to explode in my spirit. In our pride, rebellion and self will we are not a peace with God. This is our carnal mind being at war with God. War with God is not a peaceful place. Only through submission to Him are we given His peace.
As Paul journeyed to Damascus “…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?’ ” Acts 9:3-4. The Lord’s presence changed Paul. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14. The mere fact that a “spark of fear” crept up my spine when my pastor began speaking on the racial tensions in America today speaks volumes about me attempting to hide my light. Instead of shining the light of Jesus into a dark situation, I was trying to hide it in the closet. There is plenty of hatred and strife already. Not only are we battling terrorist nations, we are battling each other…we are divided. We need God to shine His light on our nation. However, we must also remember, when the Lord shines His light, It will bring us to our knees.
The Lord is bringing up a generation of Christians to be His light when He brings evil to their knees. God’s light will soften or harden the hearts on the road to Damascus. This generation understands the war is between good and evil. As we begin to shine our light, God’s light, on the hill top we must not be ensnared by strife which is another bait of the enemy. “Blessed are the peacemakers. For they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9.
I pray for all of us on the road to Damascus. We are all on that road for one reason or another. I pray for all of us who do have the light of Jesus in our lives to have the strength and boldness to shine It brightly on the hilltop. I pray for the others, who do not know His light, who are bent on hatred and violence are humbled by His goodness in the face of their evil. Their evil has already been defeated by His goodness on the Cross of Jesus. I pray they realize it is not a matter of “winning” because their souls are lost. I pray they realize, we too as Christians, want them to have true victory. Victory that can only come through Jesus and His finished work on the Cross. I pray for God to shine His light upon them and use them in a mighty way to turn others to Christ. I pray we don’t limit God by not believing He’s able to change their hearts. I pray they realize on what side they are really fighting. It has nothing to do with the color of skin but everything to do with the true condition of their heart. Souls are at stake in this battle of good and evil. The Lord paid in full the price for their soul as well. My heart is burdened for the haters. The haters are on the road to Damascus. I pray they see His light. – Donna Warren