But Ananias replied, “Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man, what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call upon your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites, and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.” So Ananias went and entered the house. Acts 9:13-17a
He had thoughts against God’s.
Ananias had to wrestle with the Lord before coming to Saul who was persecuting the growing church. He had valid reasons. Saul has done unholy things to the holy ones. If he’ll go to this man, he is also risking his life, never to see the church grow as he might have imagined. More than that, Ananias might have thought who he was compared to such person of stature in Saul. Will this Saul give me his time or take my life? Will this Saul listen to me or speak to his influence to stop me from breathing?
You know what happened to Paul. Ananias obeyed the Lord and came to Saul. Before Saul became Paul, Ananias the reluctant became Ananias the obedient. Before Paul became an instrument to the Gentiles, Ananias was instrumental for Paul’s conversion. Before Paul wrote the letters we read from the Bible, Ananias’ name is already written in Paul’s heart. Thus when you read how Paul was radical, because a man called Ananias put himself on the line. When you listen to a sermon about Paul’s one heart for God, note there was Ananias who was committed to God alone.
I wonder if my Ananias had the same reaction to God when he felt the urge from God to invite me to this Christian life seminar. He might have told the Lord, its just a waste of time. Edwin will just make fun of me and of the invitation. No way Edwin will respond positively. There’s no chance Edwin will attend or complete the sessions. Not a slightest probability Edwin will take God seriously.
But when he handed me the invitation, I signed in. I don’t remember what transpired over the moment of invitation yet his coming to me made the greatest difference in my entire life. God came to me, and I came to know him. I still work to be radical for him and God is patient with me. I still pray to have a single heart for God and God is enabling me through struggles. All of these changes in my life and experiencing of God’s graces are not reality if my Ananias did not do what God called him to do.
Everyone of us has an Ananias. A man or a woman who heard God’s call for them to come to you. A person who stepped out in faith to tell you about God. A friend who courageously stood up and told you about his life in God. A relative who shared her time with you when you were blind. A neighbor who entered your house and entered your heart by his actions and words rooted in the Lord.
When a Paul preaches, listen to Ananias by his side. When a Paul writes, read Ananias through his letters. When a Paul is remembered, remember Ananias.