Has God ever opened your eyes abruptly to truth? Has He ever penetrated the darkness of your mind like a bolt of light? One morning, several years ago, God seemingly ripped the scales from my eyes and revealed long-standing anger that He wanted to uproot. Suddenly, I recognized my sin as sin. I was piercingly aware of His patient pursuit and the call I had been resisting for some time.
Saul’s call to ministry is perhaps the most dramatic one of all. Saul had a reputation for “breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples” (v. 1). He had planned a mission to Damascus to hunt down and arrest any Christians, those “who belonged to the Way” (v. 2). Outside the city, Saul was struck and blinded by a light from heaven. He fell to the ground and heard a voice call him by name, asking: “Why do you persecute me?” Saul knew immediately that it was the Lord (v. 5). Saul’s call came in two phases. First, the Lord told Saul to “go into the city” and wait for further instructions (v. 5). But when Saul opened his eyes and rose to comply, he discovered that he was blind. His companions led him into the city where he spent three dark days.
The Lord appeared also to Ananias, instructing him to find Saul and restore his sight. Ananias objected. Saul’s reputation had preceded him, and Ananias was afraid. So, the Lord clarified Saul’s calling— to bring the gospel to Gentiles and Jews, a calling that would also bring suffering. Ananias found Saul and placed his hands on him, explaining that the Holy Spirit would fill him. Then, the scales fell from his eyes.
Saul was baptized immediately, a public testimony of God’s trans- formative work. He stayed with the disciples for a few days, undoubtedly learning from them before he began to preach (vv. 19–20).
>> Saul’s calling involved both conversion and call to ministry in one intense encounter. His call is effectual and transformational for even the most unlikely believer.
Saul’s story gives us hope for the most hardened hearts. Your call cannot go unheeded. We pray for our unbelieving loved ones, asking You to soften their hearts and remove the scales from their eyes, so they too can know and love You.