Perhaps the most dramatic conversion experience in the Bible is that of Saul of Tarsus—who we know as Paul, the author of much of the New Testament. While traveling to persecute the saints who had confessed Christ, Saul was blinded by a light and a voice said to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” Jesus revealed his identity and then instructed Saul to head to Damascus to receive further instructions. Once Saul reached Damascus, he met with Ananias, a disciple, who explained to Saul what had happened to him.
Anyone who comes to God for salvation will receive it. The story of Saul’s conversion proves that.
Saul thought he was following God’s plan. After all, his persecution of the saints was done in the name of God. Imagine being so convinced that we’re doing the right thing, only to discover that what we are doing goes completely against God’s plan.
When Jesus revealed himself to Saul, he told Saul that he was persecuting him—not the saints that Saul had physically inflicted harm on, but the very one who had died for Saul.
Another observation we glean from Saul’s conversion is the active presence of the Holy Spirit during our surrender to God. In fact, Scripture declares that it is only by God’s Spirit that we can even call Jesus Lord (1 Corinthians 12:3). The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins and our need for God, prompting us to turn to him.
Before Saul did one righteous act as a convert, he was filled with the Spirit. He didn’t waste time, did he? In the days immediately following his conversion, he began to preach the gospel. Immediately, when we confess and repent, God comes in. There is no waiting period, no application to be processed. Immediately when we call on the name of the Lord, we are saved. His Spirit enters our lives and daily invites us to a deep relationship with Christ.