mandag 27. juni 2016

The long-term consequences of obedience

It is interesting to follow the story of Ananias. The vision the Lord gave him was very concrete. Other times a vision may need interpretation. That is very evident in the next chapter of Acts.  

There we can read Peter’s vision with the large sheet with unclean animals. I am sure that the vision was vivid enough, but it left Peter: “wondering about the meaning of the vision” (1).

For Ananias it was a different story. For him it was all about obedience. He was given the name, the address and the mission. Often when God has a mission for us, he does not ask us to do complicated things. On the contrary, it is something doable that only takes obedience. And Ananias was obedient:

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.”
Acts 9:17 
He went straight to the point: 

1. Brother
The fact he called Saul ‘brother’ tells me that conversion had already taken place. Ananias confirmed him as a part of God’s family (I have always admired the courage of Ananias).
2. Presentation
Ananias said who had sent him, and so that there should be no doubt, he told something that only Saul knew (word of knowledge).
3. Healing
Ananias came to heal – not to pray for healing together with Saul. It is worth noticing there are very few places in the Bible where healing is mentioned together with prayer.
4. Filled with the Spirit
His last mission to Saul was to minister the Holy Spirit to him. Ananias was not “one of the twelve, but even so, he was the one who introduced Saul to the gift of the Spirit (2).
And what was the effect of the Holy Spirit intervention in Saul’s life?
As always in Acts:

At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.
Acts 9:20
‘Manna’ for today:
The consequence of a simple act of obedience can influence world history.
(1) Acts 10:17
(2) See “Apostle-focus and ordinary people”

Ingen kommentarer: