So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus,
There are times in life when we have to do things that we would not choose to do, often at the request of others. It could be requested by an employer, supervisor or by a loved one. As children of God our Father will present us with requests either through our devotions or by life events, which we may not have chosen to do ourselves. I can remember such incidents in my life, and I deigned to ask God if He really wanted me to do them. That was the position of Ananias in Acts 9 from where our text comes from today.
Saul had been a witness at the stoning to death of Stephen in Jerusalem, where he held the coats of those carrying out the dreadful deed. He became a fervent persecutor of followers of Christ, requesting warrants from the High Priest in Jerusalem to arrest any believers found in Damascus. His fervour in his mission became well known throughout the region, thus it was with good reason that Ananias was fearful of what his Lord was asking him to do (Vs.10-14).
As I meditated on the story of Ananias it became apparent to me that it could be listed in six stages;
1) Ananias was in a right relationship with his Lord to have a personal vision from Him.
2) It appears that Ananias was not shocked by the vision, which suggests he was used to having close communion with his Lord.
3) He was willing to hear whatever the Lord had to say to him, which may appear obvious, but there are folk who love the Lord’s presence but would rather not hear His requests.
4) He doubted the Lord’s request, through his fear of the worldly powers. An imperfection that marks all the disciples and us today – little faith.
5) He was reassured by his Lord that it was His will that Saul was chosen, Ananias trusted His Lord.
6) Ananias obeyed! There was no further questions, he fully carried out his Lord’s commands…even addressing Saul as “Brother Saul“!
Dear reader, can you imagine the joy of that meeting as Saul’s vision was restored and he was anointed by the Holy Spirit? The joy of the forgiven Saul and that of Ananias his messenger from the Lord must have caused quite a stir amongst those present and nearby. How do you compare to Ananias in the six listed points presented here today? Ananias’ obedience was not perfect, it was a bit rough around the edges – yet your Lord was able to use it to great effect. Thus do not wait for perfection in an imperfect vessel, give what you have to your Lord and expect great things by His power.