Read Acts 9:1-16


Many of us feel the need of a radical change in our
lives that will really put us on that road of disciple-
ship and fruitfulness. This is true not only of those
who are outside the Kingdom.


Many of us who have been reborn are aware that there

are still chains tying us down to our old life that

have to break.




Touchy feelings


Some frustrated ambition that still eats at our souls.





We know that there is a miracle of deliverance that
can come and snap those chains.


We know that there is such a thing as a sudden Pente-

cost that can come and fill us with the power we need.

Those who are still standing outside the Kingdom know

that it is possible to have a sudden conversion that

will settle all the dilly-dallying once-and-for-all.


The Bible is full of men and women who are suddenly
turned around and who are never the same again. We
have met people who twenty years ago saw that blind-
ing light and they've been changed ever since.


Some of us have tasted this in one area. Now we need
it for something else. Maybe you were completely  
delivered from bondage to alcohol - but now you can't
control your tongue or your temper.


Saul of Tarsus is the classic example of this sudden
change. He was chasing around arresting Christians.
Suddenly Jesus appeared to him in that flash of light.
Paul was never the same again - from that day on he
belonged to Jesus.


And we say,


"if only God would do that thing to me
that would set me free.


Why don't you do it to me, Lord?

Why don't you strike me with that
blinding light so that those chains will
break and t can really start moving in your


You did it to Paul. You turned him
around in his tracks. Why don't you do
it to me?"


But before you start begging God to do this thing to
you, make sure you understand what you're asking for.


Notice that after Jesus appeared to Paul on the road

to Damascus, Paul didn't go dancing into the city shout-
ing "Praise the lord.  I saw the light, Hallelujah!"
Paul was in a state of shock that almost cost him his
sanity. He got up from the ground where he had been
struck down, opened his eyes, and couldn't see a thing.
He was stone blind. They had to lead him by the hand.
He took no food, no water.


You can be sure that the prayers that Paul prayed during
those three days and three nights were not the happy
kind. They were prayers of agony. He was in the tomb
with his lord.


Saul of Tarsus for the first time in his life was a
broken man. And from that day on, even after his sight
was restored and he began to take food and drink again,
Paul remained a broken man,


a weak man,


a man who was ruined for
this world and
the world for him.


Paul had fallen on the stone which the builder's rejected
and had been broken. He would never again be good for
anything in this world but to proclaim "Jesus is Lord!”


Paul's career was over. His reputation ruined. His
brilliant future as one of Israels promising young
men was obliterated.


He was like a tree that had been torn out of the earth
and was now held from above by an invisible hand.

When Paul went into the synogogues and started pro-
claiming Jesus saying, "He is the Son of God!", he
was announcing the One who had wiped out his old life.

There was nothing left in all the world that mattered
to Paul but Jesus.


"Take it all away. It's nothing. For me
to live is Christ and to die is gain."


"Maybe if God would come and do this thing to me
without my asking like he did it to Paul. Paul didn't
ask for this to happen. God just came and did it."


Ah, but God didn't "just come and do it." God didn't
just come and force this thing on Paul. This thing
happened because Paul had long-since given up play-
ing games. Paul was dead earnest. Even while he
was arresting Christians and organizing persecutions,
he was looking - trying to find God's fulness.


Paul had seen Stephen stoned to death for Jesus. He
saw glory in Stephen's face. The angrier Paul got
with those Christians the deeper his longing to know
and serve Jehovah God at any cost. Then it happened.


And you say you want your chains broken. You say
you want Jesus to come and manifest Himself to you.


But who may abide the day of His coming?
And who shall stand when He appeareth?


For He is like a refiner's fire and like
fuller's soap.


That light burns, stings, hurts, and throws your life
into shock. The world will find this out on the Day of
His coming. Believers are finding it out now.


Jesus will manifest Himself to you as He manifested
Himself to Paul and to countless others if you're ready
to pay the price. How badly do you want this?


1.    Do you want this badly enough to be wrenched
       completely out of your past?


Abraham had to leave his homeland. Peter his fishing.
Levi his business.


When Jesus takes hold He uproots you from your past.

Not just the ugly past but the beautiful past, the pleasant past,

you're cut off - ruined for it. Your past won't join the Kingdom

with you.   It will go the other way. You'll be standing there in

the door of the Kingdom like a man without a country.


2. Do you want this badly enough to be struck dumb
 and blind for a season?


When Zechariah came out of the holy place the people
knew that something had happened to him. He couldn't
speak for almost a year. Not one word came out of
Zechariah's mouth until his son John the Baptist was
born. When Paul rose from the ground he couldn't see.

It may not be a literal dumbness or blindness. But it's
as if God lowers a curtain between you and the familiar
world. Shuts you up with Himself. You go about your
daily work routine with your family and friends. But
you know that you're out of it now -


- things don't look the same to you,

- you have nothing to say anymore.


3.  Do you want this badly enough to lose all appetite for a season?


To lose touch with the things that gratify the body.


Paul neither ate nor drank for three days.


When Moses was on Sinai he ate and drank nothing.


When Elijah headed for Sinai he went for
forty days without food.


For a while everything stops. All the outward things
that sustain life, all the diversions that add zest to
life are removed. You're on a fast like when a loved
one dies and you're so stunned you can't eat.... and
God sustains you.


4.   Do you want it badly enough to be changed not only
     where you want to be changed but even where you
     don't want to be changed?


"Yes, Lord, take care of my stupidity -
and my awkwardness - and I won't even
mind if you destroy my hot temper.''


But suppose the Lord deals with your cleverness. Sup-
pose that the Lord touches you in such a way that
where you were once quite clever you are now clumsy.


Suppose the touch of the Lord's hand makes you look
like an idiot in the eyes of your friend.  Suppose all your

strong points are removed and you are now weaker
than you‘ve ever been in your life.


5.   Do you want it badly enough to spend the rest of
our life serving only Jesus?


All your dreams and ambitions gone.  Only one thing
to live for.   One thing: THE SON OF GOD.


For me to live is Christ and to die is
gain .....I am crucified with Christ, it
is no longer I who live but Christ who
lives in me.


I count all things loss for the surpassing
worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For
His sake I have suffered the loss of all
things and count them as refuse that I may
gain Christ.


We're not here to do "religious things" or to do "church
work". We are here to serve Jesus where he puts us seeking

no glory but His.


6.    Do you want it badly enough to spend the rest of
       your life suffering for the name of Jesus ?


"I will show him how much he must suffer
for the sake of my name."


Immediately Paul knows there is going to be suffering,
pain, hurt, for the name of Jesus. It's never any other
way. There is no painless discipleship. There is no
fruit without suffering.


He that goeth forth and weepeth bearing

precious seed shall doubtless come again

with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with



7. Do you want it badly enough to stop procastinatinq ?


                     "Give me one more year for myself, Lord'".....

                     "Give me another week to think things over".....

                     "I'm not ready yet.


Badly enough to say,


                                    "Now, Lord ........ Today!"


"Do whatever has to be done to me this day."

Whenever you say to God - "Later" - you're saying "no".

It is only "yes" when it's "Now, Lord, Now!"


If you want Jesus to lift you out of that rut.    If you
want him to change you. He will. He'll begin it
today. The price is to give him your life - not part
of it - all of it. Not sometime later, but now.


Maybe you think you've done that already. All I can
tell you is once you start doing it you never stop.


"Lord, here it is - my life - take it
and do what you want with it."


....And He will take it. And you will never be the
same again.


And when you have learned in little things, as in big
things, to do not your will but His, you will bear
much fruit.