Thursday, June 8
Saul fought Christ in every way possible throughout his life up until this point. He was the most unlikely Jesus follower. He loved God and served God and thought he was doing His will. But he thought that Jesus had been a false teacher and liar and that everyone who followed and spread Jesus’ teachings needed to be stopped. There are people today who think they are doing God’s will but instead are ignorant of the truth, possibly because, like Saul, they don’t understand who Jesus is.
And then came the light! Following the spectacular flash of light and the great voice of Jesus, Saul was led to Damascus where he was blind and did not eat or drink for three days. I imagine this was a time of tremendous wrestling and questioning and perhaps doubting everything that he thought he had known about his whole life’s work and about Jesus.
Enter Ananias. In a vision, Ananias, a follower of Jesus, is given specific directions to find Saul and place his hands on him to heal him. Ananias answers, telling the Lord what a bad guy Saul is and how dangerous this could be. Has the Lord ever tried to send you in one direction and instead you had your list of reasons why it didn’t make sense? God’s work and His will doesn’t always make sense to us, and it doesn’t ‘have’ to make sense. Our list of excuses and reasoning is worth nothing in comparison to God’s plan and desire for us. So the patient Lord once again told Ananias, “This man (Saul) is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.” (Acts 9:15). How might you also be the Lord’s chosen instrument? To whom has he prepared and designed you to carry His name? Perhaps not to kings, but maybe to your neighbor and facebook friends and co-workers?
So, with no more excuses left, Ananias went to Saul and placed his hands on him to give him sight. Ananias told Saul he would be filled with the Holy Spirit. With the Lord’s powerful light, three days spent questioning what he had thought he had known, and Ananias’ faithful intervention, Saul realized the mistake he had made in his life and he was healed and baptized. Just like Saul, anyone can change their life and follow Jesus. God can set anyone straight. Keep praying for those fighting against Christ and consider how He wants you to carry His name to others?