Why Be an Ananias?

For many years I have struggled with Paul’s writings in the Bible. I just have a hard time accepting Paul sometimes.

Paul isn’t alive anymore, but his words are.

I’d like to say this isn’t true of people I meet in real life, but it would be a lie. Sometimes I meet people, Godly people, that I struggle to accept.

They just seem to rub me the wrong way. I can’t seem to see past their past sin to the current Savior residing within them. I can’t seem to hear the words they speak as coming from Holy Spirit instead of their own hearts.

My own pride and judgment keep me from loving and accepting them the way I should.

That’s why I stand in awe when I study the faith and risk of a man named Ananias.

“Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision,

“Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” Acts 9:10-14

The Lord spoke to Ananias in a vision. How cool is that?

Ananias answered immediately. We should do the same. Sometimes I spend way too much time trying to verify if it’s really God calling my name instead of just responding, “Here I am, Lord.”

Then the Lord gives him specific instructions to go directly to Saul and lay hands on him so he can see again. Pretty straightforward, right?

Nope, says, Ananias. Wait. This man has done horrible things to Your saints. He has authority to punish all of us who believe in You. Are you sure You want me to heal him?

Ananias’ initial response is like mine. He sees Paul’s past instead of God’s future for Paul.

Sometimes we don’t want to do the things God calls us to do because we are afraid of the people he wants us to serve. That doesn’t excuse us from our call.

But the Lord said to him,

“Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. So when he received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. Acts 9:15-19

God doesn’t validate Ananias’ concern. He just tells him to go because He has chosen Saul.

God is not a respecter of persons. He chooses to use whomever He needs to use. He isn’t looking for perfect super Christians to carry out His work on this planet. He’s looking for just the opposite.

God has chosen the worst of the worst sinners to carry out His divine plan.

Don’t take my word. Read the Bible and see for yourself.

Ananias, however, listens to God’s instructions and obeys despite his personal feelings about Saul. Wow. That’s faith.

Saul had been intentionally persecuting Christians, and here goes Ananias super Christian to seek him out for God. Did the man have a death wish?

No, he was on mission.

Ananias went directly to Saul, layed hands on him, and addressed him with what the Lord had told him. Like David, Ananias was a faith taker.

Because of Ananias’ faith, Saul’s sight was immediately restored and he was baptized.

Church, how many sinners remain blind because we are afraid to answer the call? How many sinners remain unbaptized because we believe the sin is too bad for our Savior to forgive?

But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Romans 14:10

We are not called to judge, but to answer the call like Ananias did. Where would we be if Ananias had not responded to God’s call and gone to lay hands on Saul?

Perhaps the risk isn’t in confronting the persecutors, but in steering clear of them. How many Paul’s have we left trapped in the body of a Saul?

The world needs a few more Ananias’.

photo credit: Braille”>http://www.flickr.com/photos/brailleinstitute/5169573221/”>Braille Institute via photopinhttp://photopin.com”>photopin> cchttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc>


One response to this post.

  1. Ananias is one of those great individuals in the Bible isn't he?

    Heidi’s Wanderings


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