Richard Rohr writes, “We cannot attain the presence of God because we’re already totally in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness.”

The apostle Paul helps us understand, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Paul was known as Saul before his conversion and hurled murderous threats against the followers of Christ. However, on the Damascus road, Saul’s eyes are opened, he sees beyond flesh and blood and enters a new realm of living in the Spirit. Saul is born again and is “God-conscious,”; aware of a fourth dimension beyond the three-dimensional world of time, space, and matter. Saul has a spiritual awakening and begins to integrate this reality into his life.

As far as we know, Paul never saw with his natural eyes the historical Jesus, but with those same eyes, he saw the resurrected Christ in His glory. (Acts 9:3-5)[1] His “being” beheld the light of a million suns in the exalted Christ. In that divine exchange, he, for the first time, becomes wide awake and conscious of the source of pure Love. He sees, but he does not see, he knows, but he does not know, but he is grateful. Paul is thankful the glorious light does not swallow up his sinfulness and take his life. (Is. 6:5)[2]

Paul is left undone in his nakedness as the Creator of life reveals Himself. His soul and “being” has encountered the “I AM” of God and survived. (Ex. 3:14)[3] He is now awake to the “Resurrected Lord” who is eternally present in the now. He lives in union and communion with the Triune God; he walks and talks with God. His old name is Saul, and his new name is Paul. The life of Saul is dead, and the resurrected Christ is alive and living in Paul.

I am thankful today I am aware of the “Resurrected Christ.”

[1] As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.

[2] Woe to me! I cried,” “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.

[3] God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ “

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