Tuesday, January 8, 2008

To Be Like Ananias

Are you sold out to God? Would you do anything that He asks you to do?

This last Sunday our Pastor spoke about Ananias.

Acts 9:10-19

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to 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 named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."

"Lord," Ananias answered, "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."

But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

That is amazing obedience. Completely sold out to God. He did protest a bit. But, swallowed his fear and walked out his purpose. We don't know a lot about this courageous man. But, I believe, we know what we need to know and learn from this man.

I have been asked, by God, to do many things that I don't want to do. But, nothings like risking my life. Would that be when I would say to myself, "that was not God talking to me, that was my own thoughts." Problem is, I know God's voice. But, would I rationalize this risky act of obedience, to not risk my life.

Is this what many of us do? Do we decided, "that can't be God so I don't have to do that". Does our fear of man our weight our love for God? It does, for many. I'd like to say that I am not one to let the fear of man interfere with my love for God, but, this is probably not always so. I have, on many occasions, done some pretty weird stuff for God, but how many times have I refused His call.

I don't hesitate like I use to. But, I wonder all many times I have missed the mark. Usually, God speaks to me in such a done that I know I have to move. But, there have been times when I have, probably, made the mistake of writing off His words as my own.

People have asked me, "What if it is not God telling you to do something and it is your own thoughts?" My response has always been, "If it is not harmful, than it is good. You do it anyways."

My example, for myself, I have written of before. I was sitting in an office, full of people and God told me to go and tell this woman, that I did not know. that He loved her.

I said, "I don't think so."

God repeated, "Go tell her I love her."

My new response was "Uh, No."

Then He changed His tone, "GO TELL HER I LOVE HER."

I got up real quick and went over to sit down next to her. She was turned away from me, so I touched her hand. When she looked at me she had tears in her eyes. I told her, "I don't know you, but God told me to tell you He loves you." She began to cry more and said to me, "I'm a Christian, but, I was thinking about killing myself."

I hesitated, I argued, I was fearful. I suppose just like Ananias. But, unlike, Ananias, I was not risking my life. How sold out am I. If I would argue over such a small thing, what would be my response to the big things. I have always wanted to be like Enoch, now I see, I need to be like Ananias first.

By the by, This young man has started a Christian Discussion forum. It has just started and if you like some stimulating discussion "Come on Down".