- Don Stephens
Day 6 (Acts 9)
SCRIPTURE: Acts 9:15-17 NIV 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” 17 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.” OBSERVATION: This scripture is part of a larger passage in which the Lord has appeared to his disciple Ananias in a vision and has instructed him to participate in Saul’s conversion experience during his trip to Damascus. It’s worth noting that, while the Lord could have healed Saul and filled him with his Spirit in any number of supernatural ways, he chose to work through Ananias and utilize his faithfulness. The Bible doesn’t explain why the Lord chose Ananias, but we can be assured Ananias’ faith and testimony significantly grew as a result. It's also important to recognize that, even though Ananias was initially hesitant due to his fear of Saul and his reputation, he was eventually obedient and fulfilled what the Lord asked of him. The ripple effect of Ananias’ obedience was profound, life changing, and even world changing: not only did Saul receive his healing and filling of the Holy Spirit, but the impact of Saul’s ministry is still being felt around the world today. APPLICATION: As I consider this scripture and the example of Ananias, I find myself asking a few questions. Am I in the right relationship with the Lord to hear what He’s potentially asking of me? What is the Lord calling me to do that I may be hesitant or fearful to follow? Is He calling me to speak or witness to a family member, neighbor, or co-worker? Step out in faith and volunteer or serve in a greater capacity? Be more generous with my time, talent, or treasure? Most importantly, what is the potential personal impact and ripple effect of my obedience? PRAYER: Holy Father, praise and thank you for your love, your grace, and your mercy. As I approach you with a grateful and humble heart, I pray your Holy Spirit fill me and quiet my mind – revealing any opportunities to further serve you or minister to someone you’ve placed in my life. Please give me the confidence to overcome any fear, and an obedient heart to step out in faith. Lord you always honor and magnify obedience, so I pray it all for your glory and in Jesus name. Amen.