How full of zeal Paul was – but his zeal had two sides! One was self exaltation and the praise of his fellow men who agreed with his cause, but earlier it was to destroy this movement which was threatening the authority of the powerful Jewish Priesthood. Paul was an exceptional example of human nature, seeing situations in black and white, and yet it was such a personality that God could use just at that time. The same could be said of Moses, called to serve God in the creation of his nation.
Paul’s life and everything he stood for was turned upside down. Acts 9 tells of him being led blind into Damascus; what intensity of thought occupied his mind! The voice that came as he fell to the ground said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (verse 5). We ourselves should meditate on those words. Jesus was in every believer Paul was persecuting. Paul learnt this and states this in various ways in his letters: “God has sent the spirit of his son into our hearts” (Galatians 4:6). This is not just a theological concept but an awesome reality if we are truly walking with him. He told the Ephesians, “… now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (5:8).
Paul was led by the hand into Damascus “and for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank” (verse 9). The Lord comes to a disciple named Ananias “in a vision” telling him where to go and “look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold he is praying” (verse 11).
How intense those prayers must have been! Ananias comes to him and his sight returns. “Then he arose and was baptized … and immediately proclaimed Jesus” (verse 18,20). How earnest are our prayers? How absolute was Paul’s need, followed by a sense of appreciation of God’s mercy. What do we sense when we pray? How strong is our sense of need whether we are baptized or not?