Be an Ananias!
Ephesians 3:8 (NKJV)
To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ…
Apostle Paul describes himself as one who is less than the least of all the saints. There is a deep sense of humility that Paul is expressing. He probably sees himself as one who is unworthy as compared to the other saints, ministers or apostles. Prior to being known as Apostle Paul, he was known as Saul of Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus was infamously known to be a great persecutor of Christians. Acts 8:3 records that, “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.” Saul would go around the country and places to persecute the church and the believers. Likewise in Acts 9:1-2, we learn that Saul of Tarsus got a letter from the high priest so that he could persecute believers and throw them into the prison.
However things took a sharp turn at the Damascus Road. Saul had a supernatural encounter with God. A bright light shone on him and he heard a voice saying: “Saul Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” This is because by persecuting the people of God, it means that one is also persecuting God Himself. Ultimately God revealed Himself to Saul of Tarsus and gave him instructions to go to Damascus.
In Acts 9:10 (NKJV), God called out to Ananias and he replied “Here I am, Lord.” Ananias recognized God’s voice and responded to Him. In order to recognize God’s voice, I believe Ananias had an intimate relationship with God. Do you desire to be able to recognize the voice of God like Ananias? If you do, draw close to Him every single day. Meditate on His word. Worship Him daily. Have a heart that desires to seek Him.
After Ananias responded to God, God gave Ananias a set of instructions. He called Ananias to be the one to look for Saul. Now, put yourself in the shoes of Ananias. Imagine being called to look for a man who is infamous for persecuting anyone who is a believer. I believe fears, worries and great inertia would certainly overwhelm anyone who is put in that situation. So, Ananias expressed his concerns to God. But God didn’t let Ananias dwell further in his own doubts and fears. God told Ananias His plans for Saul of Tarsus who would ultimately become Apostle Paul. Likewise for the rest of us, God has already given us His plans for us. He has given us the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
Acts 9:17-18 (NKJV)
17And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
Ananias didn’t hesitate after receiving the instructions from God. He immediately went to Saul and prayed for him. Hallelujah! After Ananias prayed for Saul, the things that blinded Saul’s eyes fell off. And Ananias baptized him.
Each and every one of us is called to be an Ananias. We ought to draw close to God every day and stay close to Him. Our role is to respond to His call and obey His commands. 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NLT) teaches us that: “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” Therefore we are called to pray for the people, so that they will receive spiritual sight and believe in God. Once the people receive spiritual sight, they would understand the glory, mercy and richness of God. They would also then know their true identity in Christ.
Yes! Be an Ananias from today onwards! Join me in this prayer.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I commit to be an Ananias. I desire to draw close to You every day. I pray that I will be sensitive to Your call. When You call, I will answer. I surrender my fears, doubts and reasoning to You. I cast all the negative thoughts aside and simply obey Your commands. Use me Lord, to pray for the people around me who have yet to believe You. As I obey You, I know that that they would ultimately receive spiritual sight and receive You as their Lord and Savior. Thank You, God and I pray all these in Jesus’ most mighty Name, AMEN!”
Further Study: Acts 9 & 10