"Course Correction."
June 24, 2022, 2:00 PM

“Course Correction.”

Acts 9:1-25

I remember one of the first times I drove with a GPS system that talks to you while you drive. It lets you know when to turn so you get to your destination on time. While I was driving, I missed my turn and the GPS voice came on, “recalculating route.” It honestly made me nervous. I didn’t know where I was, and I didn’t know how to correct my error. I was dependent on this GPS for help. Thankfully, it recalculated and told me what to do next so that I was back on the proper route.

Isn’t nice to receive correction when you need it? Sometimes we resent being corrected when we are wrong. Being corrected by someone in front of other people can be embarrassing, especially if we are corrected in a harsh manner. But we must admit that sometimes we have gone so far off track that a correction, even a drastic correction, is the only way to get back on the right track. Our reading in Acts is one such story. Read through it now if you haven’t already.

Saul was heading down a very dangerous and wrong path. He thought he was doing the Lord’s work. In Galatians 1:11-24, Paul briefly describes his conversion to the Christians in Galatia. He admits that he had become “zealous for the traditions of [his] ancestors.” This zealousness took him away from doing the Lord’s will, because instead of believing in Jesus as the Messiah, he began to persecute Christians with the intent on wiping them out!

Saul was so convinced that he was right, and Christians were wrong, that it took the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to help Saul see the truth. While Saul was traveling to Damascus to hunt down and arrest Christians, the Lord appeared to him and blinded him. His physical ailment mirrored his spiritual reality. He was blind to the truth of Jesus. God also used a man named Ananias to help Saul see the truth. Ananias had heard of Saul and was reluctant to help him. But the Lord instructed Ananias to help Saul, and so he obeyed.

Saul was not healed of his blindness until he was filled by the Holy Spirit (vv. 17-18). Saul (known better as Paul) was baptized and immediately started proclaiming the truth about Jesus. This is one of the most powerful course corrections ever recorded for us. It shows us how the great apostle to the Gentiles became a follower of Jesus. It also shows us how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. We may not ever experience a course correction like Paul did. But without the Holy Spirit, we wouldn’t believe in Jesus as the Messiah (John 16:13-15). At some point in our lives, the Holy Spirit gave corrected us so that we could believe in Jesus Christ as Lord. This correction is good for us, because otherwise we would have been on the wrong path in life – the path that leads to death.

As Christians though, we know we are not perfect. We still struggle with sin in our lives. What is your reaction when you sin? Do you run from God and stop praying until you have corrected it on your own? Our first instinct is to try and correct it ourselves. The problem is that we can’t do it on our own. That is why the Lord has given us the Holy Spirit. Another reaction is to assume that anything going wrong in our lives is because God is displeased with us and is punishing us. Is this how you think of God? Angry and constantly disappointed? This isn’t the way the Father looks at you. He sees you as His beloved child. Even when you sin.

I wish I would have known this when I was young. Because I when I sinned, I assumed God was angry and disappointed and that when I sinned God didn’t want to talk with me or hear from me. So, I wouldn’t pray. I would try to “do better.” The problem is, I was never meant to be alone in my struggles. “No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide a way out so that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). God is with you and will provide a way out when you are tempted. He isn’t embarrassed by you either.

God will correct you and He disciples His children (Hebrews 12:6). What loving parent wouldn’t discipline a child that was doing something dangerous? Remember however, that discipline (or correction) and punishment are not the same thing. Your punishment has already been taken by Christ. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

When you sin, fall on your knees, and confess to the Father because He hasn’t turned away from you. If you are being corrected, listen carefully, and seek to obey the correction. God’s ways are far superior to our sinful ways of living. God only wants what is best for you, His correction is good. You will not face punishment, but the Father will correct you and discipline you. this is good news because He corrects those He loves. Depend on the Lord for help and He will guide you through prayer and through His Word in Scripture.