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Pastor's Column

Caller I.D.

  "For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it." (Galatians 1:13).

  Paul would repeat this fact numerous times throughout the New Testament, reminding people that before encountering Christ he was sure he was doing the work of the Lord in oppressing the church. In Luke's account of Paul's dramatic conversion in Acts 9, Paul is on his way to Damascus when God speaks, "Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?"

  Paul's response is telling and speaks a larger truth to the Christian body across the world. He replied, "Who are you, Lord?" That's right; Paul didn't recognize the voice of God speaking to him. Contrast the response God gets from Ananias, the man called to pray over Paul in order to restore his sight.

  Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." (Acts 9:10).

  Some of you can dust off your temporal lobes and remember a time when phones didn't have caller identification. I remember getting calls from time to time that began with, "Hi, it's me," and my confused response, "Who is me?"

  This season of Lent, reflect on your walk with the Lord. Christ instructs us to abide in him, not to treat him like a distant cousin or errant friend we always meant to contact, but never do. Simply put, how can we expect to know and do God's will when firstly, we do all the talking in prayer, and secondly we never talk to him in the first place.

  One of my biggest fears will be standing before Christ, giving an account of the things I've said and done and being reminded of all the times He spoke to me and my response was, "The phone didn't tell me who was calling, and I didn't recognize the voice. Sorry about that."


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