Shout Out To Ananias!

Shout out to Ananias. Ana who? Ananias’s story can be found in the first half of chapter nine in the book of Acts. The chapter starts out telling us about Saul’s (later to be renamed Paul) hatred of Christians. Saul was a highly educated Pharisee. He had been schooled in every detail of the Jewish law and felt that the Jesus’s believers needed to be violently stopped from spreading their news of a risen Savior.

Breathing murderous threats and carrying a letter from the high priest, he was headed to the city of Damascus to take all Christians as prisoners. On his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him and he fell to the ground. He heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Jesus Himself was speaking to Saul, and once the encounter was over, Saul was blind and had to be led to Damascus.

Ananias was a Christ follower, but I bet he was shocked when God spoke to him in a vision. Ananias was told to go to Saul, lay hands on his eyes, and restore his vision. Ananias gave God all the details of how brutal Saul had been to the saints. I’m sure God wasn’t the least bit surprised and told him to go anyway.

Can you imagine the angst he must have felt as he obeyed? He followed his God’s direction even when he didn’t know what Saul might do to him. He obeyed anyway, and this common man, this obedient disciple, was the one chosen to help launch Saul into his full destiny. The same Saul whom we all know as Paul the writer of much of our New Testament. The same Paul who spread Christianity throughout the land and now throughout the world.

God uses our hands to touch others, to change lives that will in turn change lives. Just think of what our acts of obedience can help start. Will it be uncomfortable? Probably so. But may we be brave and carry out our Father’s orders, trusting Him and believing that He uses His chosen ones to change the world.