Daring to Obey
Saul of Tarsus . . . his very name would have sent chills down the spines of followers of Jesus. Yet God spoke to a believer named Ananias and said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now” (Acts 9:11).
This was Saul, the hunter of believers, the killer of Christians. We certainly could understand the reticence of Ananias. Yet I love his response: “So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit’” (verse 17).
Did Saul ever, in a thousand years, think he would hear a Christian call him “Brother Saul”? But what a difference a day makes—or even an hour makes.
There will be times when God will put a burden on your heart to approach a certain person or say a specific thing or go to a specific place. You have a choice in the matter: you can go, or you can not go. God came to the prophet Jonah and told him to go to the city of Nineveh and announce his judgment against it. But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction. You can be a Jonah, or you can be an Ananias.
Ananias is truly an unsung hero of the Christian faith for doing what he did. He never preached any sermons that we know of. We don’t read of any miracles being performed through his hands. He never wrote an epistle. But he did reach someone who did all of those things and more.
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