One phrase that caught my attention at the Zoe Conference was attributed to Dallas Willard - Many Christians today are vampire christians - they want the blood of Jesus, but are not so interested in the lordship of Jesus.
Lanny's Covenant Class devotional the other day expressed the same idea...
Saul's conversion teaches us:
(1) conversion is always the result of divine initiative - God seeks us;
(2) in conversion, there must be a personal encounter with Christ - salvation is not about faith in everlasting life - it is about a personal, intimate faithwalk with the Everlasting One;
(3) conversion involves surrendering to Christ - too many people "decide about" or "commit to join" - yet surrender is the only way to truly know Him. And
(4) conversion means more than a "get out of jail free" pass - many people think that conversion is an individualistic thing - just between God and me. "Isn't it wonderful? God saved me." And although they live the rest of their life in appreciation - they miss out on why God saved them: to bear His image by reconciling fallen man.
We were not saved to go to church and sing "hallelujahs" over our own redemption. Saul understood that God sought him - and saved him - for more than personal reasons. He was not converted to simply savor the experience, but in order to witness to others the saving grace he now understood.
Be an example in spirit. Always cherish a meek, gentle, and quiet spirit-a humble, loving, heavenly, and praying spirit. Such a spirit will almost silence the tongue of slander, or cause its poisoned darts to fall harmless at the feet. Barton W. Stone, Christian Messenger (1843)