«Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise» (Proverbs 1:23, NLT).
Saul of Tarsus was a man who all his life tried to please God. Throughout his existence, he was a «sincerely mistaken» individual in his ways of worshiping the heavenly Father. His devotion to the Lord led him from a very young age to prepare himself to become a Pharisee, a specialist in the Hebrew religion and a member of the most respected sector of Israeli society, a man dedicated to God full time.
His religious education was privileged. He sat at the feet of Gamaliel, one of the most capable teachers of his time. He learned to read Hebrew texts and had access to Greek and Latin writings. He became a well-educated and refined man, a powerful orator and expert in the interpretation of sacred texts; his heart burned with the yearning to use his knowledge for the kingdom of God.
One day he learned that there were certain groups that followed a man named Jesus, who threatened the Jewish religion. He couldn’t allow that! So he decided to kill them and organized small squadrons to persecute them. He was determined to end any obstacle that would harm Judaism. He soon managed to intimidate several Christian communities and his appearance caused terror among the members of the early church. Yet, despite so many «sincerely mistaken» efforts, Saul was unhappy. Something was missing.
Once, as he was heading toward Damascus to persecute Christians, Jesus Himself appeared to him and exhorted him to desist from persecuting Christians. Saul accepted the rebuke. From that moment on, he became the apostle Paul, for God gave him a new attitude and ability to understand the gospel in an exceptional way. This is how he discovered that genuine changes in life are the result of communion with Christ through worship. When we contemplate Him, we are transformed?
It is possible that you are a young Christian who believes in living a genuine faith. If so, believe me when I tell you that God has a great appreciation for you. So, in case you’re mistaken or hold an idea opposite His will, He will let you know. But will you accept His rebuke? Will you be willing to follow His ways even if you have to eliminate certain ideas rooted in your heart? Don’t hesitate to do so! It is better to not cling to something that does not please God. If you do, He will allow you to understand the gospel in an extraordinary way, as He did with the apostle Paul.