Scripture – Acts 26:19
“So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.”
- Paul defends his actions as coming from the vision he received when he was converted (26:1-18)
- The preceding verses remind us that Paul was known to the people who opposed him in and around Jerusalem
- Paul then tells of his missionary efforts that followed this vision
- God helps Paul – not to avoid trouble but to fulfill the commission in the vision
“Vision” gets tossed around more than a little, especially (but not exclusively) in the church. Usually it is used as if it is something that comes from a group process or that reflects a consensus of thought, etc. Sometimes it means a particular person’s plan or ideal for the group.
In the Bible nothing could be further from the truth! Paul’s vision smacks him upside the head, redirects his life, reorients his efforts and passions. And pretty much overnight.
I realize in reading this story from later in Paul’s ministry that I don’t really have such a vision. Not the kind of overwhelming and all-consuming and passion-producing vision that comes from heaven – from God. Not from my brain or my thoughts or my experience or my logic. But something God makes so clear it hurts… so sharp it bites into life and cuts across the path I am following.
Lord of the Damascus Road and of Paul the Visionary – you revealed yourself so clearly to Paul that he began a mission that changed the course of the world. Give me such vision! Give me such an overwhelming clarity of purpose. Renew my sense of call to your mission and to your purpose alone. To be so blinded that I can at last see. To be so compelled that I surrender all… oh to walk in Paul’s steps in my life and in our age. Amen.