As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and 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?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” – Acts 9: 3-6
The Christians in Jerusalem and Damascus were terrified of Saul. Rightly so. He was a big man in terms of his personal power and political connections with the Jewish leaders. He was a bad man as it related to the threats he made against the church and the hurt he caused the members of the early church. He was a bold man as he fearlessly attacked the church.
One day, however, he left Jerusalem with papers to persecute and a desire to destroy the church in Damascus. That was the day that this big, bad and bold man became a broken man once he decided to surrender to Christ. It was obviously not his intention to surrender to the Christ he was warring against. Yet, it did happen because . . .
1). He saw a light. As he traveled to Damascus along with his entourage, Saul saw a light from heaven. It frequently takes a light from heaven shining upon our deeds on earth to help us see ourselves from a divine perspective.
2). He heard a voice. Up to now, the only voices he had heard and heeded were the voices of Jewish officials bent on stamping out the church. It was on this road that he heard the voice of the Lord of the church. This was the first time that he had ever personally met the Lord. He refused to surrender when he met the members of the church, but he immediately surrendered when he encountered the Lord of the church.
3). He was convicted of his sin. It was not so much the light and the voice that changed Saul. It was what he saw in the light and what he heard from the voice. In essence, he was told that he was not only fighting against saints, but against the Savior of the world. Furthermore, he was informed in so many words that this fight was futile since he was “kicking against the pricks” and bucking against God.
4). He called Jesus Lord. After realizing what he was doing, who he was doing it to and the futility of it all, Saul surrendered to Christ and began to call Him Lord. No one has fully surrendered until Jesus does, in fact, become their Lord, their leader and the center of his or her life. Saul demonstrates that once we surrender and stop kicking, Christ is able to save, put into service and support anyone. Bottom line? Don’t fight Him, surrender!