May 10, 2023 — From a Crooked Road to a Straight Street

“It seems to me,” Stan commented one morning while we waited for breakfast, “that the story of the apostle Paul’s conversion is one of the most dramatic stories in the Bible.”

“Yeah,” I said, “what happened to him on that road to Damascus was really something.”

“Indeed,” he replied, “and there’s a part of that story that paints for me a picture of what my faith walk is supposed to look like.”

“In what way?”

“Before we get to that,” Stan said, “let’s do a quick recap of what was going on. Paul, who at that point in his life was known as Saul of Tarsus, didn’t care much for Christians.”

“That’s kind of an understatement, isn’t it?” I asked.

“You’re right,” Stan replied. “He was on his way to Damascus to get rid of as many Christians as he could.”

“But God interrupted his journey,” I commented.

“Big time!” Stan said. “Not only his journey, but his eternal destination, his life, and everything about him.”

Continuing, he asked, “Have you ever noticed where he went after that encounter with Jesus?”

“Where he went? He went on to Damascus, didn’t he?”

“He did,” Stan replied, “and where he went when he got to Damascus is what reflects on what my faith walk is supposed to look like.”

“In what way? Where’d he go when he got to Damascus?”

“Straight Street,” Stan responded. “It says he went to a street called Straight and was staying at a house that belonged to someone named Judas.”

“Probably a different Judas,” I ventured.

“Certainly,” Stan said, “the Judas who betrayed Jesus was long gone. But the fact Paul or Saul went to a street called Straight is the important part for my faith walk.”

“In what way?”

“I like to look at it as Jesus interrupted Paul’s journey on a crooked road, straightened him out, and sent him to Straight Street. Same with me.”

“Same with you?”

“Yeah,” Stan replied, “Before I came to faith, I was certainly walking down a lot of crooked streets doing a lot of stuff that was contrary to God’s will for me. While my conversion was not as dramatic as Paul’s, God clearly interrupted my journey on the crooked roads of life so I could walk the straight street with Him.”

“So,” I said, “I guess it would be worthwhile for each one of us to look at the roads we’re traveling to see if they are more crooked than God wants for us.”

“Not only that,” Stan replied, “but we should also look to see if the street we are walking is as straight as it should be!”


Bible verses to consider:

Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Behold, here am I, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for behold he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” Acts of the Apostles 9:10-12.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for those who brought me to the truth that I was walking on crooked roads apart from where you had for me to walk with you. Thank you, too, that you want me to go where you want and do what you intend for as long as you keep me on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I choose crooked roads apart from you rather than walking with you on your straight paths. Please forgive that foolishness. And please help me to follow every step of your lead so I walk only the paths you intend for me. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you stopped walking the crooked road apart from God so you know you will spend eternity in His presence? If no, why? Do you not know that His free and gracious provision only needs to be accepted? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with walking with God the way He intends on this side of eternity? Are there crooked  paths you need to abandon in favor of His straight ones? If you sense the need for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not? 

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