Monday, October 9
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. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” 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. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord – Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here – has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.
The soon-to-be Apostle Paul (known by his Hebrew name, Saul, in this passage) has hatred towards Christians (see Acts 9:1); then God intervenes. God causes Paul to fall to the ground, speaks to Him, blinds him and commands him to enter Damascus. Saul remained there for three days; not eating or drinking, but praying.
Ananias was a Christian leader within the church of Damascus. Ananias knew about Saul. He knew that Saul hated Christians, had done evil towards the Christians in Jerusalem (e.g., Acts 6-8), and was on his way to harm the Christians of Damascus. Yet, God intervened; God appeared to Ananias in a vision. God told Ananias to help Saul.
Both men received special grace and words from God. Both actively sought God through prayer (see Acts 9:10-11). Both listened and obeyed. God used these two people in wonderful ways as He continued to build His Church. Jesus is not done bringing people into and building His Church. Jesus is not yet finished in making His people more like Him. God will continue to walk with His people as His people continue Christ’s mission in seeking and saving the lost. Will we choose to respond to God’s intervention in our lives? Will we choose to walk with Jesus?
Father, You have intervened in my life. You have rescued me from an eternity apart from You. You have given me Your Holy Spirit. You have spoken to me through written Word. You have given me a choice to seek you, hear from You, and say “yes” to You. You have loved me; even as Your child. Thank You. I am Yours. Direct my path that I might bring You honor and glory through my obedience to You. Amen.
PRAY in a new way, today; for a heart that is like Christ’s. Jesus submitted fully to the Father. Have the attitude that says: “If Jesus loved like ____, then so will I.” Submitting to God in our actions, begins first in submission to our Father in prayer.