Friday, November 11, 2005

The Power of God

I've recently been thinking alot (I know this is very dangerous) about Paul's conversion in Acts as I've been reading through Luke's historical account of the 1st century church. In 3 days he went from a man who murdered Christians and said that Jesus was not the promised Messiah, to a man who boldly preached and convinced even some of the religious leaders in Damascus that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah. Something amazing had to have happened him to completely change his life like that so quickly. Meeting the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus would be something else, but we're also told in Acts 9:9-11 that he spent these 3 days fasting and praying.

Now we know that Jews knew the Torah well through schooling, but the most exceptional students would go on to know all of the wisdom lit, and prophets as well. This was Saul's world. He was well versed in scripture and didn't believe the claims that Jesus was the Christ. Did Jesus' appearance to him cause the immidiate change or did that power encounter open the door for God to do some work in his life. I believe that it's kind of a both/and type of deal. It's a lot like believing that when we turn the key to our car it will start and then we can drive wherever we want to go, but we really don't know how all this works. If we wanted to be effective advocates and teachers of automobiles then we'd have to learn a good bit about them so we could teach others. This is the same thing with Saul. He was going to be a rabbi/teacher, but now he would be a different type of teacher. One who knew that the OT prophecies concerning the Messiah were fulfilled in Jesus.

I think Jesus appearance to Saul was the catalyst to his change, but ultimately when he spent those next 3 days seeking God while praying and fasting is when the truth was entirely revealed. After Ananias prayed for Saul and his vision was restored in Acts 9:19 we're told that "at once he began to preach in the syagogues that Jesus is the Son of God."

You may begin to wonder where I'm going with all of this, so here it is. It seems that with most people you can have a casual conversation about spiritual things and talk about Christ. You may get somewhere or nowhere through talk, but generally it's pretty easy to do. Radicals however cannot be reasoned with or talked to. They are absolutely set in their ways and the moment someone disagrees with them religiously, it's time to beat them and maybe even kill them. Radicals are changed by radical things. Something naturally supernatural and unexpected that brings truth into their face like a freight train running into a pinto. The radical encounter with truth knocks them for a loop and then they have to deal with it.

All of this is stemming from the atrocities that have been committed in Indonesia by radical muslims there towards the Christians. I've been thinking a lot about his whole deal, and wondering what it would take to lead these muslim extremists to Jesus. If people who like Paul had nothing to lose went there in the power of the Holy Spirit, preached boldly, showed the awesome power of God by healing folks, raising murdered from the dead, going into villages and sharing the love of Christ with them, can you imagine the impact that could have. Some could die, and I'm sure some would if not many, but for them to know that Jesus is the One True God and that He loves them and is not willing to give up on them even though His own should suffer as He did so that they may come to know Him as Lord and Savior. Wow, how incredible would that be. Could I do that? Is that were God is leading me or should I pursue this position at work? I don't know, but what I do know is that according to Eph. 2:10 God has already prepared in advance good works for me to do. If that should include something in Indonesia then He will reveal it to me in time. If I'm to stick around and work with Ace for a bit more, then He'll show me that too.

Lord I trust that you have the best in mind for me, and you know where my heart is, but know also that if I'm to stay here I will be happy. As long as I have a place in advancing Your kingdom I'll be happy. Lord I ask that you would reveal yourself to these muslims over in Indonesia much like you did with Saul. They are persecuting You just like he did and are trying to make the gov't side with them and prohibit the reading of Your Word. Soften their hearts so that they may know Your truth and respond to it with eagerness. Bless them and the Christians over there. Give Your people in Indonesia strength to endure persecution and death, and yet give them the mercy, compassion, and love to forgive their enemies and pray for them as well. I know that you love everyone regardless of what they've done and You would have everyone come to know You. I ask that this would happen in Indonesia.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jorn Barger, "Robot Wisdom" weblog
Jorn Barger edits the Robot Wisdom weblog, an eclectic and thoroughly interesting set of links on topics from all over the net.
Hello there....good blog!

I have a Chattanooga insurance site. It provides Chattanooga insurance information.

Come and check it out if you have an interest, thanks.

-----------------------------------------------------

Micah said...

Hey Bro,
Speaking of advancing the kingdom, I know of a spanish church in downtown phoenix that has an opening for someone who speaks a little spanish and can lead worship and/or occasionally fill the pulpit. Know anyone like that? ;)

Love you,

David Killough said...

I know someone who can lead worship, and do some preaching, but his spanish is atrocious. What do you guys have planned for your weekends until you leave.

Anonymous said...

Good word David! I agree with your prayer and your heart in these matters.

Love Mom

Luke said...

What's your email adress? Can you still use David@killough.net?

David Killough said...

david@killough.net is still my e-mail, or you can get me at work at killoughd@aceasphalt.com

Luke said...

That's funny...I can't get my Luke@Killough.net to work anymore....Oh well, I guess I only used it to store a couple things from church people, and I've found ways around that. I have a request for you, that's why I needed your email...I will send it off. Love ya bro!

David Killough said...

if you're going to go online to find it, go to killough.net/email, and you should know the rest from there.

JC said...

Hola. Me llamo J.C. ?Como te llamas, chico? Me gusta comer. I no speak English.

Um...thats all i can say in spanish. Terrible, huh?

Adios.

Chizzler out.

Luke said...

AH! That /email thing is new to me. Thanks Bro!