Lois Pelchen - Biddeston, Queensland, Australia Convention - 2017

Acts 9:3, “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus; and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven.” Verse 6, “And he trembling and astonished said, 'Lord what wilt Thou have me to do?' And the Lord said unto him, 'Arise and go into the city and it shall be told thee what thou must do.'” Those words have been coming back to me, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" We read this story of Saul who was later called Paul and he became an instrument and very useful in the hand of God. He was not always like that. He was against Jesus and against the followers of Jesus and the plan of God. What appeals to me he was a sincere man.

When we read of him this day journeying to Damascus, if he had found any of the people of God following in the path that Jesus had established, they were to be taken captive and they were to be put to death. As he journeyed, God in His kindness and in His mercy drew near, and Saul saw a light he had never seen before and he realised he was blind and he couldn’t see. Just like us, a spiritual blindness, and he was bought to the place I cannot see and he was bought very low into the bowels of the earth. Then he said, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" Maybe he had never prayed such a prayer in his life before. That is a prayer we must pray if we are going to have salvation. He was a man who was honest and sincere in what he was doing.

We read that a voice said to him, "Arise and go into the city and it will be told thee what thou must do." First of all, he was bought low and he fell then the message was to arise and that was after he said, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" God is still looking for souls who are willing to say, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" We know the Lord worked with him and gave him a place in the ministry. After he was in the ministry, he would have been praying every day, "What wilt Thou have me to do?" Each day, he would be very conscious of doing the Lord’s will. Although he was sincere and upright and morally correct by the world's standard, he was lacking the presence of the Spirit of God in his life. The Spirit that is in us is what gives us salvation. We could be like Saul, we can know the Bible from lid to lid and live a good life, but it is not salvation. If we don’t have the Spirit of God born into our hearts and working within us, we have no hope.

When we think of what happened this time and in this experience reminds us of what one of our brothers told us a long time ago. The brother workers went to visit a home of a woman and they had not been to that home, but they were given an address and they found the number of the house and the street. They went through the gate and knocked on the door. The lady came to the door and they said, "Are you Mrs. so an so?" She said, "No, we have come to visit the lady of that name that lives here and the lady said there is no one of that name that lives here and she was very definite." The brothers went back out in the street and they looked at the little piece of paper and they looked at the number of the house and it was right. They went back to the door and this is the number of the address we have and they went back out in the street and walked along and they got down to the corner of the next street and they were in the wrong street. That brother said they were sincerely wrong. That is what I think Saul was sincerely wrong. How many of us feel we are sincerely wrong when we think we are right, thinking that we know and thinking we are on the right track and thinking we are doing God’s will in all sincerity?

We read that Saul was to go into the city for 3 days before Ananias came and spoke to him about the true way of God and his eyes were opened and he saw like he never had seen before. He began a new way of life, he left behind his old opinions and he began life as a little child in the way of God. I love to think of the work of the Spirit of God in every message and God above was looking upon this man and to bring him to the place where he could know salvation and God also preparing His servant, Ananias. God spoke to Ananias and we read in the same chapter, "Go to a certain house in a certain place and Saul will be there." Ananias knew who Saul was and he knew he had come to persecute and to put to death the followers of Jesus and he feared to go. God said to him, “Go thy way, he is a chosen vessel unto Me.” When he went to Saul, he said, "God has sent me that you might receive sight and be healed and be filled with the Holy Ghost."

I love to think of the work of the Spirit of God, working in Saul and working in his messengers and God still today looks down upon the world and the multitudes and wondering on in darkness to a lost eternity and still sending forth His servants. Souls that are sincere and really want salvation might be bought in touch with the way of God.  God didn’t leave it to Saul to go out and tell his experience and to get many followers, maybe build a church and put his name to it and start another way and it was not like that at all. Saul was bought in touch with the followers of Jesus, those who were following what Jesus had established on this earth, and the same Spirit that Jesus had was born into His heart. The same Spirit is born into the hearts of those that follow what Jesus had established on this earth, not something men had established, but that which is eternal and is of God. Jesus has paid a high price that we may become his children. From that day on, Saul would have been looking for the guidance of God and saying, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?"

It makes me think of the faithful ones we read of in the Old Testament before the time of Jesus. They didn’t have the presence of Jesus with them and we read of Noah walked with God. The Spirit of God guiding Noah. I was reading about that in Genesis 6, Noah walked with God, just like God wants to walk with us today. God talked to Noah and spoke to Noah and they conversed. One day, God revealed to know something about the very near future and He told Noah destruction was coming, but He told him what to do that he might have salvation. Noah did what God said. God said that His Spirit would not always chide with men. God told him to make an ark of gopher wood, and He told him how to make it, and Noah did what God told him to do. There would have been many days that Noah would have thought, "What will I do today and how do I build?" It never rained before on the earth and God said there was a flood coming and He left instructions what do and how to prepare and we still need the guidance of God in that. In the time of Saul, they had the scriptures, but he didn’t have the spirit of God with him.  We also have the instructions here and the word of God and the guidance of the spirit and Noah would say, "Lord, what will I do today?" and God would instruct him and help him in any parts he was unsure of.

We read later on about God drawing near to Moses, God asked Moses to make a tabernacle, like a form of worship, how to worship God and how to serve God and how to please God and what to do and what not to do. Moses did not know how to do it, but God gave him the instruction and we read of him building the ark and building the way God told him to build it and there are so many little details and he would have to go to God, time and time again, "What do I do here?" Reminds us of our circumstances today, we don’t read in the Bible in one sense living in a time like we are living in now and we know there is already been wickedness in the world that has always been the same Devil trying to lead us to a lost eternity. Sometimes we wonder what to do in this instance or this case to please God, "How do I honour God?" We need to ask God and have His instructions and the details and to be guided. As we read and as we pray, we need to be guided by the Spirit of God as the faithful were before the coming of Jesus.

When Jesus was on the earth, the disciples had an advantage as they were with Him in person. Jesus taught them and they could ask Jesus questions and the time came when Jesus was no longer with them, and He is also not here in person now. Jesus said, "After I have left, I will send you the Comforter." John 14:15-16, “If ye love Me keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter that He may abide with you forever.” Verses 26-27, “But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The Holy Ghost, the Sspirit of love, the Spirit of mercy and the Spirit that is life and the Spirit that God wants to put into our hearts and lives. That happens when we yield ourselves to Him and open our hearts and the Spirit of God is born into us and just like what Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about being born again. Beginning as a little child and then growing as the spirit of Christ works within us and that is what Saul was experiencing. He had great knowledge of the scriptures and very educated and doing all that he thought was right and yet he was sincerely wrong. It was this sincere prayer, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" God spoke to him and showed to him what he must do. We are thankful that God does not change nor does the way His has striven with man from the beginning of creation and it is still striving with us today and God is still striving to bring men and women into His kingdom and into His family into eternity. He needs to work within us and prepare us and may God help us. Amen.