Saul of Tarsus was transformed in an instant from a strong-willed, intense Pharisee into a humble, devoted slave of the Lord. How was such a change possible? Only by the miracle of the redemption.

There’s nothing miraculous about the things we can explain. We command what we are able to explain; consequently, it’s natural for us to seek to explain. What Saul experienced on the road to Damascus had no logical explanation, and neither did the choice he made afterward: to live in total obedience to Jesus Christ.

Obedience isn’t natural, nor is disobedience necessarily sinful. There’s no moral virtue in obedience unless a higher authority belongs to the one who commands. Sometimes, refusing to obey is an act of self-liberation. If one person says to another, “You must” or “You will,” it breaks the human spirit and its loyalty to God. A person is a slave for obeying unless behind the obedience lies a recognition of a holy God. Too often religion loses sight of God and becomes all about obeying rules. Many souls begin to come to God when they stop being religious, because the human heart only has one master, and that isn’t religion but Jesus Christ.

When Jesus Christ appears to me, I’m in danger if I say, “I won’t.” Jesus will never insist on my obedience, but if I refuse to obey, I’ve begun to sign the death warrant of the Son of God in my soul. When I stand face-to-face with Jesus Christ and say, “I won’t,” I’m backing away from the re-creating power of his redemption. If I come to the light, it’s a matter of indifference to God’s grace how abominable I am. But if I refuse the light, woe to me. “Everyone who does evil hates the light. . . . But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light” (John 3:20–21).

Wisdom from Oswald

An intellectual conception of God may be found in a bad vicious character. The knowledge and vision of God is dependent entirely on a pure heart. Character determines the revelation of God to the individual. The pure in heart see God. Biblical Ethics, 125 R