Paul’s Visions-Transformation

The seven visions of Paul, as recorded in the book of Acts, are moments or seasons of heightened clarity and focus.  The trajectory of his life was radically altered toward the person and purposes of Jesus Christ.  Paul’s conversion was conceived in eternity past and will be completed in eternity future.  But here we see that this conversion involves a progressive comprehension of what the Spirit is doing in the present, or the eternal now.  Some call this sanctification while others identify the process as transformation.  This vision is described in Acts 22:17-18, and explained in Acts 9:1-31.  It is here that we find what a changed and changing life in Christ should look like.  Not all of these characteristics are measurable but all should be recognizable.  It is a life characterized by acclimation and adjusting to the Spirit of God within.  Acts 9:1-31 reflects some of the features of a transforming life:

  • A transforming life is one that is aware of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ
  • A life is transformed within the community of other believers: there are no loners
  • A transforming life is characterized by an insatiable desire to pray
  • As a life is changed there will be an increasing awareness of a call and/or purpose.
  • There is an increased spiritual perception and discernment
  • This life participates consistently in the means of grace (the study of Scripture, the sacraments, spiritual community, and the exercise of spiritual gifts)
  • There is a zealous desire to witness
  • This transforming life can embrace trials and persecution
  • A transformed life is not indispensable

In the next post, “DIRECTION”:  How are we able to recognize the way that God is leading us?  Does He open some doors and close others?  Does the path in which God leads us ever involve difficulties?