When Paul was saved, he was no longer setting forth his own will, but he was now concerned with doing what Christ wanted him to do. Conversion brings true surrender, and your negotiating days are over. It is no more bargaining; instead, it is unconditional surrender.
When the Apostle Paul recounts his testimony to King Agrippa, he says this, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” You know what has happened to him? He wasn’t he wasn’t disobedient. He wasn’t setting forth his own will. Do you know what happens to him? He’s so lost at this point, he’s so desperate. His only concern is to do what the Lord wants him to do. “I was not disobedient.” And in conversion, that’s what happens. We suddenly take a submissive posture, Lord, what do you want me to do? And what does he want us to do? Isn’t it amazing? I mean, that voice comes to us and he could just knock us into oblivion because of our sins. And he says to us, this is what I want you to do. I want you to trust me. Paul: Trust me. That’s what he says to us. And he says, “I was not disobedient.” I mean, suddenly we come face to face the enormity of our sin. We see the hopeless state, the helpless state. Lord, tell me what you want. Lord your will. What do you want me to do? You recognize he spared me thus far, and you come to be faced with… I remember, brethren, when it first hit home. I deserve hell. I was not thinking about the rest of my family or my coworkers. I deserved hell. And it wasn’t until that point where God came. And all the fight was gone, and I saw myself so lost Just help me, Lord, help me. There is surrender. No more terms. No more bargaining with him. Your negotiating, days are over. You recognize you deserve to be blasted. You deserve the deepest, darkest, fiery parts of hell. You recognize that. You recognize your lostness, your hopelessness, your helplessness. Lord, whatever you want, just have mercy on me. And oh there’s hope is they’re not? His name gets called. And God does not just strike him down dead. There’s that hope. He spared me. He spared me. No more bargaining. Unconditional surrender. He is not disobedient to this heavenly vision.
This excerpt was from the full sermon, “The Conversion of Paul“.