We need to recognize that God calls all of us at times to make major adjustments.
Adjustments align what is out of place. Though they may put you in an awkward position, the result is still one that changes the way you walk for the better. We all need adjustments, more importantly, spiritual adjustments.
But God has a way of getting our attention. God calls us out of our comfort zone to make major adjustments and to join Him in His work. Every one of us, no matter who we are!
For Saul, God, getting his attention, was by way of a flash of light on the road to Damascus. God’s wake-up call for Saul was a personal encounter out on the highway, a moment of truth that made Saul pay attention.
Adjustments? Let me talk about adjustments. Saul's experience on the road to Damascus caused a major adjustment in his life. We all will have them. Saul made just about every adjustment you can imagine, And why? Because God had gotten his attention and had forced him to acknowledge the truth he had so long resisted.
When truth comes, you must make adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
We need to recognize that God calls all of us at times to make major adjustments.
He calls all of us to major adjustments in our lives in order to join Him in what He is doing.
Maybe we are discarding too easily the possibility that God may still want to make radical changes in our lives, even though we’ve always been able to take it easy. Are we throwing away too quickly the idea that God might be calling for adjustments in our lives?
Consider this: if you don’t think you have ever had a Damascus Road, radical conversion, it may mean that you are actually resisting the things God really wants to do in you? Is it possible you haven’t had it because you don’t want it?
There are just some people who are inherently conservative. They don’t like change. They don’t want to embrace new things.
I remember when my children mentioned to me that I and their Dad needed to change the type of phones and plan we were using to better our communication and make life a little easier for us because technology was the thing and a lot of people had and were making major adjustments to it by upgrading their phones and plans. We told them, "No, we're good, we don't need all of that technology stuff". But, when we would get into a position when we really needed to communicate better with them we decided to make the adjustment and make a change. At first, it was so new to us but then, we later saw how easier it made our lives to communicate with them and other matters we said, "We should have done this earlier!" I still don't like the Bill!! 😆.
We claimed we didn’t know anything about that stuff, but they insisted, and they made us learn a whole new skill. That was a major adjustment! But, you know what? I’m a convert! I wouldn’t think of going back to the type phone we had today! I am a convert now and I can't ever think about going back to that old system. ADJUSTMENT!
Some still resist technology and new technology and all of the gadgets you can get now. Why? Because they don’t like to change! and in some cases can't change.
Some may still resist adjustments as I am writing this blog. Some still hang on to the old ways for the longest time possible. Some of us are just like that. We resist change. But change is possible, change must come.
Saul, I'm sure had found it very hard to change. His personality had been shaped by his training as a Pharisee. He had been steeped in the legalism of that tradition. He was from a privileged home. He was raised in the university town of Tarsus, where the great ideas of the Greek world were all around him. Why would anybody want to leave all that?
But God has a way of getting our attention. God calls us out of our comfort zone to make major adjustments and to join Him in His work. Every one of us. Every one, no matter who we are!
God called the teen, David from the quiet of a shepherd boy’s life to the turbulence of the throne of Israel.
God called Moses from the delights of his wife’s embrace to free an enslaved people.
God called Abraham out of the comforts of his father’s lands in Ur to begin a whole new nation.
Risk, change, adjustment, all of them, and all of us too; No exceptions, will need to accept some kind of major adjustment.
Think of what it meant for Saul to become a follower of Christ. Were these minor matters or major adjustments?
When Christ confronted Saul, Saul had to confess the sin in what he had been doing. Saul had to admit, the very first thing, that what he had been giving himself to was wrong. Just plain wrong.
When Christ confronted Saul, he heard that voice, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?” Saul found out that what he had been doing in trying to put down Christians, was really putting down God Himself. And so Saul had to confess that what he had been doing was sin and had to turn away from it. That’s the most fundamental adjustment we have to make.
That’s going to be tough for some of us. There are some habits we do not want to give up. For one person it may be alcohol; you know that alcohol robs you of money and it steals your good sense, but you hang on to it anyway, because it’s what you know and it makes you popular.
When Christ confronts you, however, and calls you to join Him in His work, there won’t be any room left for any kind of distraction.
For another person it may be dishonesty; that temptation to shade the truth, that willingness to treat other people’s property as if it were your own, that thrill of telling a false story, it may be chronic dishonesty that is your problem. But when Christ calls you, that has to go. That will go.
When Christ confronted Saul, he first had to adjust his style of life. And it can be done.
Something else: when Christ confronted Saul, he had to change the way he used his time and his energy.
Now Saul had been very busy. He wasn't a slacker, he wasn't a loafer. He had been busy pursuing Christians, trying to preserve the truth. He had doggedly pursued his goals, going so far as to get warrants for their arrest in some other town. Jerusalem was not big enough for the pursuer Saul, so Damascus beckoned him. He was busy, busy, busy! But when the Lord confronted him, and hit him full in the face, Saul had to change his focus. He began to put his energy into the things of the Kingdom, just as he had put energy into fighting it. He worked at persuading others to join Christ just as hard as he had worked at bullying them into denying Christ. His adjustment was not in how much energy he spent. His adjustment was in where he spent it!
Many of us need to turn our energies to the things of the Kingdom and not to the things that make no difference. we need to turn our review to the call of God. I know that we are a busy people. We are on the go, ripping and running, all the time.
Some need to make major adjustments, in their time and energy. Major adjustments need to be made in order that we can be the church in this earth! I assure you that no amount of staff workers can ever substitute for the emotional investment of God’s people in God’s work. But we will have to adjust the way we use our time in order to do it.
Yet again, for some of us, the most difficult adjustment will be in how we invest our financial resources. Let’s tell the truth. We have the money to give to Kingdom causes, but we are not living up to our potential. God is surely calling us to make major adjustments in the way we use our money.
What do you think happened to Saul the minute he turned his back on the officers of the Temple? Do you think they kept on paying him to be their errand boy? Not on your life! Do you think they said, “Oh, well, Saul’s not doing the job we want done any more, but we’ll carry him on the payroll anyway?” Not for one moment. In fact, he tells us later that he had to turn to tent-making in order to support himself.
You see, when Christ confronts us and summons us to join Him in His work, there is always a financial impact. Always. And that means that most of us, maybe all of us, have to make major adjustments in the way we use our money.
We as a church may face a very serious challenge this coming year. If everything that Congress proposes to do is agreed to, the cost will be quite high. A good deal more than it now costs us to do business. But I do say, on the basis of Scripture and by the leading of the Spirit, that we as a church are doing far, far less financially than what God has called us to do. The question at this moment is not, “What does the church propose to spend?” The question is, “Am I being faithful?”. The issue is not whether the church should buy this thing or hire that person or run those programs. The issue is whether you have followed God’s instructions to bring the tithes, the tenths, into the storehouse, for Kingdom work. The tithe is the Lord’s and we need to give it no matter what the church’s budget is.
Yes, I hear you saying that’s tough. I know it is. It’s tough for me, too. I am not blessed with secret sources of income. But I give the church a tithe, offerings and more, because God has called us to do His work, and that requires adjustments.
Adjusting our wants in order to put priority on the Kingdom. Adjusting our need to keep up with the latest fashions and fads, in order to love the work of Christ. Thinking twice and three times about what we buy, in order to take care of first things first. Yes, it is a major adjustment. But I tell you it can be done. It must be done, in order fully to join God in His work.
Adjustments. In other words, are so major you might even think of them as a whole new life. A whole new identity.
Saul was so changed and so adjusted that he even changed his name! And Saul the old Pharisee became Paul the new man in Christ. Saul the old persecutor became Paul the new preacher. Saul the old struggler against sin became Paul the Apostle. Paul who talked about his joy in Christ. Saul made a major adjustment, a total adjustment, got a new name and a new identity, in order to join God in His work.
The direct way the Lord Jesus addressed Saul who became Paul about what he must do I think, is the way he addresses us too. I think this is the exact way he addresses the old mules to get their attention.
Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”
GET UP AND ENTER THE CITY. That is the word for those of us who need to make major adjustments. GET UP, ENTER, GET TO WORK! No procrastination, no fumbling about, no elaborate arguments. Just get up and go. Get up and do. And the next steps will become clear.
GET UP AND ENTER THE CITY.
I believe we do know, down deep, what we as a church have to do to join God in His work. We have to get up and enter the city. I believe we know that we have to invest in ministry and so that the church may have a solid future.
GET UP AND ENTER THE CITY. We do see that we can make a difference in family life with counseling and training for people with problems. Get up and enter the city, our city, with all its problems, its sickness and its sin, and wherever God wants us to be, I am determined that there we shall go.
Whatever God shows us to do, I am persuaded that we are able to do, because He promises, right here, that we will be told what we are to do. And whenever God wants to use us to reach out and share good news with others although it may take an adjustment on our part, a major adjustment in the way we invest our time, our energies, and our money, when we get up and enter the city for the good news, He will give us a whole new life.
Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? Who are you, Lord? I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me by resisting change; you are persecuting me by holding on to your faults and failing,
holding on to your past.
GET UP AND ENTER THE CITY, and you will be told what you are to do. Just face one reality: “you must make adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.”and some of those things may be major.
Kingdom blessings & Shalom!
Apostle S. Smith