Acts 9:5 “Who are you Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
Paul is about his business. He is fervant, religious, pious, a man on a mission from God, he thinks. He is defending God’s honor, he thinks, persecuting Christians on the road to Damascus. Have you ever met Jesus on the “Road to Damascus”?
“Who are you Lord?” “I am Jesus.”
Hagar was running from Sarah’s anger. She met The Angel of the Lord, Jesus, and called him, “the God who sees me”. “Wow, God knows my name, I never thought I was that important.” Jacob was on the run from Esau’s anger. He had a dream and saw God’s servants doing his work throughout the earth. He woke and said “surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” Samson’s parents met a stranger with good news, birth news, but then he ascended to Heaven in the fire of their offering and they thought, “oh no, that was God, and we are going to die. Wait, no, he wouldn’t reveal himself to us just to kill us.”
So, here is Paul, pious, busy, on mission, and Jesus knocks him down and he says, “Who are you Lord?”
What are you facing that has you asking, “what is going on here?”. Have you FIRST looked into the face of God and said, “Lord is this you?” While I don’t believe that every trouble is God’s hand, nor that it is always discipline, the result of sin. I DO, however, believe that the first thing we need to do is look for God in the midst of it. “Lord, are you saying something … are you causing or allowing this? Where are you in all of this?”
As tragedy seems on every headline right now, how much would have been avoided if everyone involved would ask, “Who are you Lord? Where are you Lord? What are you doing Lord?”
When injustice rears its head, there is a time, and a way to act, but that time and way is always just. It is never vengeance, or retribution. “‘Vengeance is MINE’, says the Lord”. Why does it belong exclusively to God? He is the only one JUST enough, WISE enough, and LOVE enough to exact vengeance that is RIGHT. The terrorist isn’t asking “who are you Lord?” He is saying “I am lord.” the vengeance seeker, shrouded in a false understanding of justice isn’t asking “who are you Lord?” They are believing that they have God’s wisdom, and all the while stirring the pot that will not heal festering wounds, and will not bring justice but only cause more pain.
Hagar, Jacob, Samson’s parents, and Paul found out what Jesus knew in the garden and experienced on the cross, “your will and not mine be done.” That’s why on the cross, under an unjustice sentence, he could say, “Father, forgive them …” Sometimes pain brings healing. Sometimes death brings life. Sometimes injustice brings justice. Sometimes failure brings triumph. If we can look up and see the face of Christ, realize that he is here, he is on the throne, and hear him say, “I will tell you what to do, I am in this”, then we can get through it and trust him.
So often, we are busy fighting for “right” only to find that God is at work, and he will always bring RIGHT. Could it be the thing you are fighting the hardest right now, is God at work, you just don’t know it?
Look up and ask
Listen and live