When you need to know you have heard God!
There are times when you really need to know that you have heard God! Most often God guides us in simple ways and frankly He is more interested in our intimacy with Him and our sanctification than what job you have or where you live. But in this passage it is life or death critical that Ananias has heard God accurately! Saul is known by the believers to be hunting them down and most likely involved in some of the killings too.
Ananias receives a vision where the Lord tells him to goto Straight Street to find Saul at Judas’ house. So Ananias immediately asks the Lord if he has heard right. God confirms it, because the Lord has an amazing ministry for Saul. With that, Ananias obeys and calls Saul Brother and heals him and imparts the baptism of the Spirit. What if Ananias hadn’t been listening? What if he hadn’t checked what the Lord said? What if he hadn’t obeyed? I love that God uses ordinary, obedient believers to pray for someone that then results in Christianity spreading to the whole known world! And of course the Lord has told Saul, Ananias is coming to pray for him.
We have heard from God too – go make disciples. Most people the Lord will guide us too won’t be murderously against us until the encounter God! You don’t need the same level of revelation to be sure you can talk to a neighbour, colleague or the checkout girl!
Towards the end of the passage we have our second encounter with Barnabus (first on was back in Acts 4:36). When Saul makes it to Jerusalem, the believers are scared. Saul has quite a reputation and was known to have been there at Stephen’s martyrdom. Barnabus, the encourager, sees something in Paul and vouches for him. What if Barnabus had given into fear too?
Saul’s ministry allows peace to come for a season, the persecution abates, numbers grow and the Holy Spirit brings comfort.
Let’s be like Ananias and Barnabus and make the most of the opportunities to help, bless, heal and tell.