30 Mar 2016
Most of us are familiar with Saul’s “Road to Damascus” experience where he met Jesus, fell from his horse, accepted Christ…and was blinded by the light. For three days after Saul’s encounter with Jesus, he sat around in a room, blind, probably wondering what was going to happen next. What happened next is that God sent a Christian brother named Ananias to Saul. Ananias was wary but never wavered in obeying God’s call. He trusted God and went to Saul, even though he was afraid of this man with a reputation of violence. Ananias received Saul as a Christian brother. He touched Saul’s eyes (and maybe Saul’s heart) as he explained God’s purpose. This encounter teaches us several lessons.
Lesson 1: Ananias was ready for service. He had a relationship with God and was sensitive to His leading.
Lesson 2: Ananias was cautious and not afraid to question God’s calling. Ananias tested his impulse to make sure that he was truly hearing from God (Acts 9:13-14). God invites questions, but when He answers, He demands obedience.
Lesson 3: Ananias acted on the call. Ananias tested the Spirit, but when he found it genuine, he immediately went to Saul. Ananias trusted God’s command and treated Saul as a Christian brother. He laid hands on Saul and restored his sight. More significant, Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit, which created a new center in Saul’s life. What’s the take-away for us from this little vignette?
Are we near enough to God’s heart to hear His voice? Are we courageous enough to engage people we thought were antagonistic, but now receptive to Christ? How about an ex-wife or ex-husband who now professes a love for Jesus? Can we deal with that and encourage them? Would we come together and worship even though the hurt may still be fresh? Will we go, or will we hide? God calls us to serve. Are we tuned in to His voice?