A Head-on Collision with God Acts 9:5 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Paul was living his life blamelessly [Phil 3:6] and with a good conscience toward God [Acts 23:1] that what he was doing was right. But he was dead wrong. Even witnessing the preaching and the death of Stephen and the pricks to his conscience that followed were not enough to convince him he was wrong. He needed a head-on collision with God. He had that collision on the road to Damascus.
When the Lord appeared to Paul, Paul asked him, “Who art thou Lord?” He didn’t realize that he was talking to Jesus Christ, the risen Saviour. So, the Lord replied, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest…”. From the moment of Paul’s head-on collision with God, everything in his world changed. Paul got saved, he left his old job, he was called to preach and he became an apostle and the author of 14 books in the New Testament. He went from persecuting and killing Christians to loving and feeding them and sacrificing himself so that many more lost souls could come to Christ.
What led to this dramatic change in Paul’s life was his head-on collision with God. Do you realize that you might need a head-on collision with God? A head-on collision with God will:
Reveal who He really is. For Paul to be doing what he was doing before he got saved, he had to have a wrong view of God. He was looking at God through his Pharisee’s eyes. God to him was a master to be served according to the law and Jesus’ followers were to be exterminated. In his mind there was no way that God had manifest himself in the flesh of Jesus’ body. No way was Jesus God manifest in the flesh. When Paul saw Jesus he knew then that he had to be God because he was the risen Saviour. The resurrection of Christ is the hope of Israel. And not only did Paul realize that Jesus was God, the Messiah, but he also immediately realized his immense goodness and mercy and holiness and longsuffering because he let Paul live and he put him in the ministry. In a head-on collision with God you see God magnified way above your current opinion of him.
Reveal who you really are. Paul had no idea that the followers of Jesus were the true children of God and that he was a religious, hell-bound sinner. Until he could see how wrong he was he couldn’t see completely how right Jesus is. In a head-on collision with God you get God’s perspective on your life. You see yourself the way that God sees you and not the way you have been looking at yourself. And you are convinced that you are the foremost of sinners [1 Tim 1:15].
Humble you before Him. Paul went from the vicious persecutor of Christians to the humble of servant of Christ. When he realized who Jesus really was and what he really was by comparison, he trembled. He only asked, “what wilt thou have me to do”. And he did just what the Lord said. When you have a head-on collision with God you no longer concern yourself with imposing your will on God. You only want to know and do his will because you don’t want to mess up your life anymore than you already have.
Stop you in your tracks. God put the brakes on Paul. He halted him on the road to Damascus and that was the end of Saul the persecutor. And he became Paul the preacher. God stopped Balaam and made sure that Balaam had no way to turn. He let that prodigal son run completely out of his own resources and out of all of his cockiness and then he dealt with him. When you are up to no good, God will usually let you run a while and then he will pull the plug on you right in the middle of your disobedience [at a time when he can get your attention]. In a head-on collision with God you don’t have any wiggle room and that’s just the way God wants it.
Set you on a new course. God didn’t just stop Paul from persecuting Christians. He chose Paul for the ministry. He took Paul out of his old life and gave him a brand new life. Paul went from inflicting the pain to receiving the pain. Paul went from putting out the fire to fanning the flames. When you have a head-on collision with God, the Lord expects you to repent and change course. He has a plan for you that is very different than the plan you had for yourself. And he intends for you to get on track with his plan the moment he stops you from going any further down your path. He won’t be in a hurry with you because he wants to repair the damage from the collision and then he’ll get you started in another direction.
Conclusion: On your new course, God will change you into what he wants you to be. Remember, though, that some people, like Balaam, have this collision and then veer off the track again because of a shallow, carnal repentance. You don’t want to do that. It will be worse for you later than if you had never met up with God. Don’t be hasty. You need a deep, spiritual, permanent repentance. Real repentance is the key to turning away from who you were and becoming who God really wants you to be.