We’ve been looking at Paul’s life pre-conversion. Many people touched his life as he violently went around “breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples” (Acts 9:1). Only God knows how many of those Paul persecuted were actually used by God to touch his life with an authentic witness.
Paul told King Agrippa in Acts 26, Jesus confronted him on the road to Damascus saying, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” This was a common expression, coming from the practice of farmers using sharpened sticks to prick or goad a stubborn ox to move. At times the ox would kick against the sharp stick only to itself.
As Paul persecuted Christians he was also hurting himself. In addition he was hurting Jesus who is intimately associated with everything his church is experiencing.
C.S. Lewis likened God’s conquering work of Saul’s rebel will to a divine chess player systematically, patiently maneuvering his opponent into a corner until finally he concedes, “Checkmate.”
If you, like Paul, are resisting the conviction of God through the testimony of Christians don’t put off surrendering to Jesus. Especially if you feel checkmated by God’s loving pursuit. Bow before Jesus and ask Him to forgive your sin and come into your life as Savior. Paul never regretted the impact others had on him during those pre-conversion encounters, often referring to them as he gave his testimony of how he became a follower of Jesus.
Never forget the impact others have had on your life.