7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
We find ourselves in the same passages as yesterday, and we have been looking at how every detail of Scripture has a story to tell. So we have chosen to NOT overlook the small details here with Saul and Ananias. Here we are analyzing the humanity of Saul and Ananias. Yesterday we opened up what Saul must be thinking, terrified of the potential coming judgement. How he knew what the next step was but had no actual timeline as to when he would receive his sight back. There were few details, but obedience was still carried out.
Now we look at Ananias, likely super anxious about the coming interaction. This man had been openly persecuting christians and was authorized to incarcerate any who followed Christ! Now God is asking Ananias to stand in front of him and say Jesus Christ told me to come here and tell you this… Faithfulness in the face of this task, faithfulness though Ananias knew not what was going to happen, faithfulness is what the Lord wants, and received.
While knowing not what the next part of the plan was, whether suffering or otherwise, God called these two men to be obedient. Two completely different positions, callings, and effect. Still obedience is requested.
Here we are Church. We are in one of the most confusing times in our last 100 years of history and the Church is divided. On one side masses who are worried about safety, and on the other those who are worried about rights. Paul had rights, Ananias was concerned about safety. God moved past each of those. Which side is worried about what the Spirit has to say? Which side is waiting on the Spirit for guidance? Which side doesn’t have it’s point of view concrete and immovable? Which side is willing to be shifted by what is needed to share the Gospel?
God’s plans are not based upon human point of view. God’s plans are based around loving and cherishing humans by sharing the Gospel and reconciliation of the cross. God’s plan looks past safety and rights. God’s plan is for the Gospel to be all consuming in our lives through Roman enslavement, through persecution, through the Black Plague, through Covid.
Nothing. Has. Changed. Quit allowing Satan to use crisis after crisis to skew your ability to portray Christ. Be the ambassador He has called you to be. Look past your rights, your safety, your preferences and desire the Gospel and the Cross above all other things.
God thank You again for allowing me to be a part of Your mission. Thank You for being gracious to me even when I get caught up in my own issues or worries. Your Word says that as a faithful, loving Father you will provide our needs when we cry out. I am asking today, please help me to be focused on what You are concerned about. Help me to not get caught up in these frivolous things that strip me from my focus on You! Help me control my pride as it flares up and leads me into defending my point of view. Keep me humble and portraying You my Lord. I Love You. Amen.
This is the culmination of yesterday and today. In these times of severe division you have likely offended someone over the mask vs no mask idea, or something in this area. Reach out to them, reconcile that relationship. Do it based upon how much Jesus Christ loves you. Do it based upon how much Jesus Christ was willing to lay down for YOU! Tell them that, apologize and pour out your heart. Admit that you have been forgiven for far greater things, and Christ puts up with SO MUCH MORE. Therefore, He has called you to love people in the same way, looking past everything you can for the sake of love. Love someone today 🙂
p.s. If you don’t listen to the worship songs posted here your missing a quarter of the devotion! 😀 There are four R’s for a reason. It is the four pillars of Spiritual maturity, and simply reading these words is only a quarter of it. 25%… not the completion rate I want in my spiritual growth. Even if these songs are definitely not your style, do some type of worship! 🙂 I’m praying for you. As I finish writing these words I am praying for the Spirit to specially speak to your heart today and break through barriers you’ve perhaps not even seen before. God is in the business of remodels.