If you’re a Christian you probably know of the story of Paul on the road to Damascus, he was on his way to hunt down more followers of ‘The Way’ when Jesus knocked him down and confronted him face to face.
As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
Acts of the Apostles 9:3-4 NLT
Paul was on his way to committing sin but Jesus prevented it. In the same way we are often on our way to committing sin but Jesus doesn’t step in and stop us, naturally this could lead to the ‘free will’ debate and I’m open to having it but today I want to talk instead about our sin and our state of mind when we decide to sin.
Take the plight of the porn addict for example, if he’s a Christian he knows that it’s wrong, and yet there is a split second decision that’s made and he’s right back in the middle of it. Alcohol, drugs, and sex can all be characterized in much the same way – users almost always know that it’s wrong, that it’s a path that leads to destruction (here’s the counter argument to the free will debate) but in the moment it’s like they can’t help it, it – the addiction – has control over them, instead of Jesus.
I think Paul had a similar addiction, not to drugs or alcohol or porn, but to power and I also believe he had an insatiable desire to do what he was convinced was right. It literally took Jesus Christ to knock him down for him to see the error in his ways. The result of which is the Apostle Paul – the guy who penned more than half of the New Testament!
Jesus doesn’t show up for us the same way He did for Paul, He chose instead to send us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit may not show up in such a dramatic way but He is there. He is the voice that reminds you as you are about to do that thing that you know is wrong that it is indeed wrong and you shouldn’t do it.
The Holy Spirit is the one who gives you that thought right before you open your mouth to gossip, He’s the one who makes you hesitate right before you open that book, talk to that person, open that door, turn on that screen. He is the one who when you are on your own road to Damascus shows up and urges you to stop what you’re doing, turn around and go back.
We’ve all been on that road, about to commit that sin we know is a sin and instead of listening to the Holy Spirit we make a choice to go ahead. The next time you are on that road visualize Jesus standing there in your way, block out everything else and fall at His feet, you know what the amazing thing is? Jesus could condemn you in that moment but if it’s forgiveness you seek He won’t do that, instead He’ll pick you up and take your hand and lead you back to the way you should go.
That’s how awesome our God is!