Today, people in many parts of the world are disillusioned in institutions, governments and corporations.
Politicians and leaders sell their bill of goods by touting their ability to create change? While most of secular leadership are self serving and don’t bring needed change, some might actually bring about a measure of transformation. Yet nothing this world has to offer can compare to the kind of change that God can bring, to individuals, families and communities. True transformative change begins with God, and it starts with individuals who have had a life changing encounter with God.
In the first few decades of the first century, Saul the Zealot was passionately pursuing Jewish Christians who had fled to Damascus. His intent was to do them harm whether by jail, torture, or sentence to death if necessary. Make no mistake about it, he was going to accomplish this heinous task, after all, he was fully convinced of the danger of Christians to the peace of Israel, and fully capable to carry it out. Saul, being a Pharisee of Pharisees, and a top ranking ambitious student among his peers, was known for his follow through. He had already proven himself in Jerusalem, following the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7-8. Yet despite the certainty of Saul’s agenda being fulfilled, he failed. What happened? Simply stated; he encountered the risen Christ. On the road to Damascus, he encountered the resurrected Christ, who appeared to him in blinding lightning. Saul, fell to the ground an obstinate, arrogant, violent religious fanatic, but rose up completely changed. He had been transformed. Now instead of issuing the demise of Christians in Damascus, he joins the leadership and begins to win others to Christ in the city of the Damascenes.
Saul, not only changed allegiances, and course of direction, he even changed his name from Saul to Paul. Clearly he was a different person and was recognized by all, for what he was, a transformed individual.
How are we going to reach our families, communities and nations for Christ? I believe it is from a position of encountering Christ. Yet we are far from that today particularly in the western world’s contemporary church, where people seem to emphasize pop psychology, self help books, and pragmatism with a bit of spiritual cliches as a band aid to solve painful issues that comes with life.
How are we going to transform the world as believers, when we cannot even transform our own families? Or worse yet, we can’t even transform our lives? We as western believers understandably struggle with similar issues the world does, but also end up with the same results often times, as the world does. This ought not to be so.
Paul in speaking to the Roman Church (Romans 6) indicates that salvation is a powerful encounter with God that is far reaching. It saves us from eternal damnation, changes not only externally but even root heart issues. Paul labours with this issue, and exclaims.
“Shall we continue in sin that Grace may abound”. “He who has died is free from sin”
“Therefore do not offer you body as instruments of sin, but of righteousness”.
His point is clear, in the area of struggle with sin, believers can encounter Christ in such a saving way, that they are freed from sin that plagues them. This can be extrapolated to issue of self, identity, relationship problems, and life issues.
Do you need change in your life? Are your struggling with problems and pressures. Paul’s answer and indeed Christ’s answer is that you encounter Christ. Not just once, which may have been at your time of accepting him as Lord, but regularly. The more you meet him through times of prayer, devotion, worship, meditation on scripture, the more you will be changed, and will be a transformative agent to the circumstances and the world around you.
Join with me today and get ready for an encounter with God.
– Pastor Olu Jegede