|“In Damascus, there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. 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 name Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” -Acts 9:10-12
I am sure that most of us have either read about or heard the story of how Saul got converted on the road to Damascus and became Paul. If you have not, please take some time to read through Acts 9 in its entirety. The verse above came right after Saul encountered God on the road to Damascus. After Saul heard the voice of God, he became blind and God revealed to him in a vision that a man named Ananias would come and restore his sight. After God revealed this vision to Saul, he spoke to Ananias in a vision, but Ananias’s initial response was, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
Ananias eventually obeyed the Lord and did as He instructed, and Paul’s sight was restored. What would have happened if Ananias disobeyed the vision he received? Perhaps God may have used someone else in his stead. Or maybe He would have accomplished His task without any man’s help. My point to you today dear friends is that Saul depended on Ananais’s obedience to God. Saul was expecting Ananais because the Lord had already revealed it to him in a vision. If Ananias disobeyed and God had to raise someone else up, Saul may have doubted the vision he received from God.
A similar situation involving Peter and Cornelius appears in Acts 10 where the Lord called Jewish Peter to visit a Gentile household. (Peter said to Cornelius, "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.) Needless to say, Peter obeyed and there was a large crowd of people at Cornelius's house that got saved and baptized on that day. If we take nothing else from this, I hope we understand the importance of being obedient to the visions we receive from the Lord, as other people may be depending on our response. Our disobedience to God may cost others a lot more than it costs us.
When God gives us a vision, it may not always make sense or seem logical, but our duty is simply to obey and allow God to take care of the rest. It did not make sense for Ananias, a Christian, to go and lay hands on Saul, a persecutor of Christians, but God had a purpose in it, and Ananias’ duty was simply to obey. It did not make sense for Peter, a Jew, to visit the house of Cornelius, a Roman centurion who represented the absolute opposite of the Jewish culture and religion, but God had a purpose in it, and Peter’s duty was simply to obey.
What visions have you received from the Lord? Are you struggling with being obedient to them because they do not seem completely logical? Your duty is simply to obey and allow God to take care of the rest. You do not know who might be depending on your obedience. What if Abraham did not obey? What if Moses did not obey? What if Jesus did not obey? Scary thought, isn’t it? Your disobedience may cost a lot more than you think. This is why it says in 1 Samuel 15:22, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. Think about it.
Grace and peace be with you.
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