Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ananias and Simple Obedience

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Before Saul became a Christ follower, he was a Pharisee, and according to some scholars, a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin as well. We know that he was present at the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr [see Acts 7:58], and possibly presided over it [8:1]. When Saul had his encounter with Jesus, resulting in his conversion, the contemporary Christ followers were suspicious of him, and understandably so. 

It’s what follows next that captures my attention. God directed a Christ follower named Ananias to pray for Saul. In fact, God told him where he could find Saul, and gave him specific instructions to pray that he would receive his sight (Saul had been blinded when he met Jesus on the Road to Damascus). He also received a message from God to give to Saul.

Who was Ananias? We know he was a disciple [9:10], but not one of the Twelve. He didn’t write any of the New Testament books. We have no record that he preached any notable sermons or performed the miraculous. What we do know is that he was an obedient disciple, one who did what God wanted him to do. He prayed for Saul and took him under his wing. It’s possible that he is the one who baptized Saul [9:18].

On this occasion, God didn’t call an Apostle like Peter or John to accomplish His will. He chose an obedient Christ follower, and look what happened! In time, Saul became the legendary Apostle Paul, arguably the greatest evangelist in church history. 

God still calls ordinary Christ followers to do His work; the ordinary to do the extraordinary. Thank God for all those like Ananias who do kingdom work, often behind the scenes. Their simple obedience makes a difference. And while they may be unknown to men, they are beloved of God.

But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! Saul is My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. Acts 9:15

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