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Romans 10:1 Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved.2 I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal.3 For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law.4 For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.

Have you ever talked with someone about something and they have their opinion and they are Immovable? In Christian circles we have the same thing, and that is good if it is based on the "whole" word of God, I believe we should be Immovable. We call the word conviction. Conviction (def)- a firmly held belief or opinion. I cannot even imagine the constant Immovable minds of the Jews Paul dealt with and he was the right guy for sharing the gospel to them because Paul was a Jews Jew. In other words, Paul was Immovable about following The Law (Mosaic Law). His life, his very existence was centered around, not only following the Law, but forcing others to do the same. You might compare Paul to a Jewish Policeman who was convicting all those who did not follow the Law of the Jews. He was as extreme as it could get to the point that He took letters of conviction to put to death anyone who was following The Way. The Way was what the believers of the day were called and if you were a part of this "radical" group of people then you were in Paul's sights.

Acts 8 tells of the attitude and life purpose of Saul and the following scripture is a representation of what was actually happening. Acts 8:1 A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.2 (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.)3 But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison. You have to admit that Saul was committed to his mission. Immovable right? Not so.

Lets look at Saul a little further down the road and see what happened there in Acts 9: 1 Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. 2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.

3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”7 The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! 8 Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. 9 He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.

The Immovable Saul of Tarsus, MOVED!! Jesus moved him! He continued on a mission after that meeting, but Saul's mission direction changed. The Immovable one, moved and his fervancy for the Law became a life commitment for the gospel of Jesus Christ. This vividly shows that if we are going in the wrong direction God can still bring us to a place of change when He wants to. This radical change in Saul's life changed everything... for you, for me, for the world. Jesus turned Saul's life upside down, which was really rightside up!! Which just goes to show if we are going to be immovable on anything make sure it is for the right thing. Think about it, Saul was willing to see someone killed, as Stephen was, to follow his line of thinking.....before Christ. After Christ Saul was willing to "give his life" so that others might live. What a radical change that Christ can make.

Are you willing to be changed? If so, keep in mind that in our present Christian way of doing church we are rock solid immovable to God doing anything new. But are we doing it the right way? 3 But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house. The "church" was meeting in the Synagogue "building" and they received persecution from Saul, but they were also meeting in homes, thus the "house to house." The "church" is both those who meet in a church building and those who meet, even in houses. The part we have forgot is "we are the church." Those who are believers in Jesus carry Him with us wherever we go and when we congregate, wherever, we are the church. Sadly, we have made a strong belief that the church is only the church when we are in a designated church building and that is easily proven wrong. Why? Because it restricts the spreading of the gospel and the activity of those who are a part of the church. The born again believers. We begin to rely on the building as our place of spiritual activity, including only opening our Bibles when we are in the church building, and thus we become an Institutional Christian. This group of people, of which I used to be one, has hindered the growth of "the church" and we are seeing less and less converts to the faith, but we still remain Immovable. I wonder what Damascus Road experience it will take to change course and line us back up with the mission of Jesus? Perhaps we have already had our Damascus Road experience and it is Covid-19, but we were further gone than Saul was so we didn't "see the light that was shining!!

Perhaps God will have to send another light and reintroduce Jesus in our churches to reestablish our mission for winning the world as the church wherever we go. Just like Saul and the other early believers, there must be changed lives to accomplish this, but those lives will have to go against the flow of what we think the church should be like. Are we going to remain immovable and dead or will we "see the light?" What is your conviction ? Time to choose...

The Pilgrimage Continues.....

David Warren

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