“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4)

Paul’s conversion on the Damascus road has all the ele­ments of a dramatic film. A villainous lead character is sud­denly stopped in his tracks by a light from the sky. A voice comes from heaven, and this villain undergoes an amazing transforma­tion and embarks on a whole new adventure.

What about your own conver­sion story? More than likely, it wasn’t so dramatic. Perhaps a friend spoke to you, or maybe you started reading the Scriptures, and over time, God got through to you. Most of us probably wouldn’t pay to go see our story at the movies!

But how we came to the Lord is not really important. What matters is that we have come to him. He loves each one of us passionately. He wants all of us to be saved and come to know the truth about him (1 Timothy 2:4). To him, every conversion story is valid and powerful. It’s part of his awesome design for creation—a plan that he worked out before we were even born (Jeremiah 1:5). Just as he had a perfect plan for Paul’s life, he has one for each of us as well.

Remember, too, that God’s plan doesn’t begin and end with a dramatic conversion. What if Paul hadn’t continued seeking the Lord after his experience on the Damascus road? Most likely he would have returned to his old ways! After all, it took him ten years before he was ready to go on his first missionary journey, and even then he was still striving for holiness. He knew he had to walk with Jesus day after day if he was going to become the person God wanted him to be. And so do we.

As the refrain to a popular wor­ship song reminds us, “Step by step you lead me.” Whatever our initial conversion was like, it’s still going on! Today, try to draw closer to Jesus. If you’ve fallen down, rededicate your life to him. You don’t have to look back. You just have to keep pursuing your goal: “the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). There’s nothing to fear—he will be with you all the way!

“Jesus, I give you my life again today. Fill me with your grace, so that I can follow you faithfully. Help me, Lord, to get up when I stumble.”

Psalm 117:1-2; John 6:52-59