Listening and responding
Recently I have been thinking about the story in Acts 9:1-19.... Saul's experience on his trip to Damascus. Grab your Bible and have a read. Many of you know the story already but read it again.....
Saul was a man who was out to get the Jesus-followers.... those ones who had encountered Jesus and were saying he was the Messiah, God's son. His purpose was determined and clear ... Lock them up, shut them up, get rid of them.
Then Jesus met with Him in the most incredible way. This is what Jesus does... It's who He is. He loves people to encounter Him and His love. So as His followers / disciples He calls us to walk out life as He did while He was on earth..... Loving people, listening to the voice of our Father.
When I re-read this story, there were a couple of things that really jumped out at me.... A couple of things that reminded me that Jesus will go to extraordinary lengths to show people His love and reveal Himself to them. And He will, if we choose to get involved, choose us to be part of someone's story along the way.
The first thing is that I saw seems kind of a small point, but it's worth paying attention to as I believe it's a significant part of the story. The two companions who are travelling with Saul are not mentioned by name, but they played their part in helping lead him into Damascus and got him to where he was meant to be. If they had not been there or had decided to run away after hearing an audible voice, Saul may have ended up somewhere other than where he was meant to be.
It says they "led him by hand to Damascus". They took his hand and stuck with him and got him safely to Damascus.
Sometimes our part in someone else's journey can seem small, but if you've been positioned there, ask Jesus to show you your part and do that. That is all he asks.
The second thing I saw is this....
It seems that The lord knew and trusted Ananias so much in his listening and responding skills ... That is why he was able to tell Saul that a man named Ananias was coming to lay hands on him. He mentioned Ananias by name to Saul. He committed Ananias into Saul's story before Ananias had said yes.
That shows the level of relationship between Jesus and Ananias. It was intimate. What this said to me was that the Lord knew Ananias' response to him would be one of trust and obedience.
I want to respond like that.
The third thing I saw was that Ananias was real - he saw the potential danger and the cost involved. But in that place of asking those questions, The lord also showed Ananias a bigger picture // what He had planned for Saul and for the works He had prepared for him to do. Wow! Ananias was to play a part in the story of Christianity going global!!!
Ananias was to become part of a divine appointment which would change the course of history forever.
Let's be people who listen and respond to Jesus' call ... to be willing to hold someone's hand and walk with them... or to go and speak specifically into someone's life, or lay hands on them to see healing happen! Let's be people who choose to listen and respond to Jesus. To step in when He calls.... to respond ... for his glory. Will we be part of that?