Lesson Fourteen | Devotion #2: Ananias
Did your parents have to tell you twice to do some things? Mine sure did. It was usually regarding chores, and I cannot recall specifically the reason I did not do whatever it was on the first asking, but it was probably due to laziness. Maybe I thought they would forget, but they never did.
In the book of Acts, we read of three men named Ananias. Acts chapter 5 records one that was struck dead for lying to the Holy Spirit and Acts chapter 23 has Paul appealing before a high priest with the same name. However, in-between we find another Ananias recorded in Acts chapter 9. According to Paul, in fact, this Ananias was a “devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews” (Acts 22:12 KJV). Perhaps his devout character is what allowed him to be uniquely used by God. Acts 9:10-19 records the story for us, “Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.’ But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.’ So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened.”
Did you read it? In verses 11 and 15 the Lord tells him to “go.” Granted he was being asked to lay hands on the notorious Saul of Tarsus, a man who according to verse 13 was doing evil to the saints in Jerusalem. I think I would have hesitated also. Ananias, just like me in my youth, complied on the second asking and are we not glad he did. What a life after conversion Paul led. The result was that he had the honor of being used to remove the scales and preside over the public profession of the inward change that occurred in Saul, whose name became Paul. Oh, I am sure that God’s plan would have been accomplished with or without Ananias, but what a privilege it was, and is, to be used in the plans of God.
I came to realize that my earthly parents did not mean anything bad when they asked me to do my chores. They were simply teaching me lessons that were crucial to my development as a productive member of the family. What a parallel we have when we think of how our good, good heavenly Father wants to make us productive members of His family as well. We would do well to learn the lesson quickly that listening to God the first time He asks, is always a good thing.
How quickly do you comply with God?
What lessons are you struggling to learn because you resist the asking from God?
Please remember dear Christian, God always wants the absolute best for us His children. Listen, obey, and think of the privilege it is to be used by God for His purposes.