Go and do what God said!
Our lives would be so much more effective if we would simply do what the Lord tells us to do.
But the Lord said, “Go and do what I say. For Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.”
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Go and do what God said!
In today’s reading we see the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. The Lord appears to Saul on the road to Damascus where he is headed to arrest any Christians he can find. Saul’s encounter with Jesus on the road leaves him blind. He is led by the hand into Damascus and goes three days without food or water.
In Damascus is a believer by the name of Ananias. In a vision he is told to go to Saul and lay hands on him to get back his sight. Ananias objects to the Lord’s instruction on the grounds that Saul is known for persecuting Christians. To Ananias, this sounds like he is being sentenced to death; like being told to climb into the lion’s den. Ananias doesn’t know what Jesus has already done in Saul’s heart.
The Lord’s word to Ananias was, “Go and do what I say.” The Lord doesn’t tell Ananias what He has done in Saul’s heart. Instead He tells Ananias what His plan is for Saul. Ananias didn’t understand what was going on. But he went and did what he was told to do. He went to Saul and prayed over him and Saul’s sight returned.
Ananias was an ordinary person that God chose to use in a special way. He is mentioned only once more in the book of Acts in chapter 22 as Saul, renamed Paul, is recounting his conversion. Paul would go on to write half the books of the New Testament and plant churches everywhere he went. We have no record of what became of Ananias or what he did after chapter nine of Acts. The Lord called him to this one task and he fulfilled it. His life is defined in a single act of obedience. For the rest of time Ananias will be remembered as the man that obeyed God and was used in the conversion of Saul of Tarsus.
An account like this causes me to wonder if I have ever had any Ananias moments in my life; a moment when God called to me and told me to do something. Or will one of those moments come in the future. An Ananias moment is an invitation to be a part of God’s work in the world that is so far beyond our imaginings as to be absolute fantasy to our minds. If Ananias had known how God was going to use this man, he would not have hesitated to respond. We can’t know God’s plan fully; no one can. All we can know is what God has told us to do.
The Lord’s instruction to Ananias was simple, “Go and do what I say.” Our lives would be so much more effective if we would simply do that; go and do what the Lord tells us to do. And we might never know if a single act of obedience might change the world. We don’t obey because we might change the world, but because God expects and is worthy of our obedience. What has God told you to do? What’s keeping you from doing it? Jesus, help us to do what You say.
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