“So he, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord, what do You want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do’ ” (Acts 9:6).
WHEN SAUL OF TARSUS REALIZED THE IDENTITY OF THE ONE WHO HAD APPEARED TO HIM ON THE DAMASCUS ROAD, HE ASKED THE RIGHT QUESTION: “LORD, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?” The awareness that he was in the presence of God was followed by a recognition that his life was seriously out of line with God’s will. At that moment, he knew little of what would be involved in serving God, but he did understand that he needed to move in the direction of honest obedience. This man had a reverent, receptive heart, and he was ready to make whatever adjustments were needed to begin doing what God wanted. So his question was simply, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”
Like Paul, we need to see that Christianity is an active endeavor, not merely an intellectual interest. Judging by our lifestyles, many of us apparently believe that being a Christian is nothing more than being aware of God’s power to save us. But, in fact, Christianity is a walk, a changed way of life, a new manner of living. “Do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering,” Paul would later write, “not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4).
So when we pray, what kind of help do we ask for? What kind of “light” do we seek? If we come to Christ with anything less than a desire to obey Him, we may get the same abrupt welcome that John the Baptist gave to some of his hearers: “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:7,8).
The light we should ask for is light to illuminate the road we’re going to travel! If our interest in Christ is just an intellectual interest or if we have no real intention of traveling the road shown to us, then no light will be given to guide us. Guidance is only for those who are going somewhere! So if we’re reaching forward, we should pray for light — but our intention must be to move forward.
O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame,
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!