April 19, 2019
Read Acts 9:1-19
St. Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus is one of the most famous examples of the gift of repentance. Though there were words spoken to Paul by Jesus—words that only he could understand—the primary means Jesus used to call Paul to repent was the event itself. There was, as it were, a pyrotechnic display of Christ’s power and authority, such that Paul’s immediate response was to humble himself before Jesus and call Him Lord.
Sadly, there are many Christians who have had a similar type of experience and are waiting for the sequel—an encore performance. There was a young woman in my second parish who had come to the Lord through a “Damascus Road experience” in her early 20s. Subsequently she desperately sought a repeat performance, attending every revival and Christian conference she could in order to be present for the promised “signs and wonders.” She also doubted my salvation because I could not point to such an occasion in my life. Miranda was, as she describes, “quick fried” with a Pauline type experience. I, however, have grown up knowing the Lord, never having known a time when He was not real to me. Miranda describes me as a “slow drip Christian.” For this young woman, and many others like her, unless there is a specific event in your life that you can point to as your gift of repentance moment, a specific moment in time when you accepted Christ, your salvation can’t be real. This is not the case. Our God meets each one of us in the unique way that we need so that we may acknowledge Him.
Have you had an intimate encounter with the Lord? Are you waiting for an encore? Or have you been a slow drip Christian and now want a pyrotechnic display? Or maybe you want to avoid such because it is “not your style.” God is sovereign. He knows what each of us needs. Let Him lead you to repentance in His way.