I love how Jesus interrupts our personal agendas in life. Paul followed authorizations that were set against the people of God, but the Lord reinstated the order in Paul’s life, which was for the people of God including himself. He did not use Paul, when Paul felt that he was ready, or when Paul became broken hearted for the body of Christ. Jesus stopped him in the midst of doing wrong. He took a stone cold killer, and reconstructed his mind and spirit instantaneously.
What Saul did in his life was “successful” according to himself and his masters. He already had submission in his makeup. It just needed to be redirected. What Paul did as a new creature in Christ was “excellent”. He surpassed success and strove to please God through excellence. He became brilliant in his time.
When I read those two words at the start of Acts 9:3-19, I see how Paul paints a vast picture of the beginning of his reformation and subjection to the Lord. Those two words: “and suddenly….” Marks his transformation and the moment that his spiritual eyes became open to the divinity of Jesus Christ. However, like all of us who have been called and chosen by the Lord, God had Paul in His mind from the very beginning of his life. He was already pre-designed for excellence.
Galatians 1: 15-16
“But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His son in me, so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood….”
We are reconfirmed that the excellency that Paul now lives up to in Galatians 1:1, was never given to him by men and known of in the liking of man, as it was when he was Saul. Rather , the one responsible for his excellent standards of serving and living for Jesus, only came from Jesus and is expected from all of us called by Jesus.
“Paul, an Apostle, (Not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead;)