"Then he said: 'The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.' "
Thoughts for Today:Who is speaking these words to Paul? That's right Ananias! Let's look at this event for a minute from Ananias perspective: He heard the Lord's Word; initially argued with the Lord yet ultimately responded by seeking out Paul; then spoke the words from our passage today given to him by the Lord -- the rest is history so to speak. Have you ever wondered what might have happened had Ananias not responded to the Lord's call?
So often in Bible stories we focus on the main characters without realizing what important roles others play in God's plan. In my opinion, Ananias had an extremely important part -- one that he was uniquely qualified to fill. So what are God's main employment requirements? There are four: availability, faith, willingness, and trust. We find these present in virtually every hero throughout the Bible. For example let's look at the story of Gideon from Judges 6:
* Availability -- Gideon was busy just like we are (after all he was threshing wheat when the angel of the Lord appeared to him). However, he stopped what he was doing to listen.
* Faith -- he was strong in his faithfulness to the Lord (unlike his father who had succumbed to worshiping foreign gods).
* Willingness -- when the Lord asked, Gideon responded, "Yes Lord!" (Although not without some discussion first).
* Trust -- despite the improbability of the mission and the seemingly insurmountable odds, Gideon trusted the Lord and proceeded.
Gideon was a rather inconsequential young man ("My clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my family") until God's call; yet God used him powerfully and effectively. In our passage today, God used Ananias in a different way, yet with just as much power and effectiveness -- to motivate and direct Saul to ultimately become the apostle Paul. God's requirements were met by both men. They were available, faithful, willing, and trusting. Does that sound like you?
Questions to Ponder:If this topic seems familiar to you it is because I covered it in a previous devotion, although from a different approach. The Lord spoke to me today about these key words: Availability, Faithfulness, Willingness, and Trust. We change the world for Jesus when we respond to the Lord's call. Will you answer today?