This blog post is continued from the July 29, 2019 entry entitled, “2 Responses of Courage that Follows God.” This post is the ongoing examination of God’s call to Ananias to go to Saul, the persecutor (Acts 9).
His situation was Questionable.
Acts 9:13-14. Years ago I was the pastor of a small church. We were in the process of handing out fliers for some evangelistic outreach held at our church. When I returned to the office, I retrieved a voice mail that threatened a bullet between my eyes the next time I put a flier on his door. Thankfully, I had caller ID. I have had various threats over my 27 years of pastoral ministry. It causes one to stop and think. Do I embrace fear or trust God to continue doing what He commands?
Ananias had reasonable human fears. Saul was a wicked man! Saul had the legal power to do great harm! Saul has thrown other Christians into jail!! God calms Ananias’ fears with assurance of His plan. Ananias’ fears are calmed by God’s words. Let’s remind ourselves what the Bible, God’s Word, says about fear.
Stop for a moment and rehearse the truth…rehears the Word of God.
II Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.”
I John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that fearth is no made perfect in love.”
Psalm 56:3, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”
Psalm 34:4, “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
Rest from our fears is found in the calming voice of God’s Word.
He was Consolable.
Acts 9: 12, 15-16. Ananias was teachable and willing to follow God. He voiced his fears to God and the Lord confirmed to Jonah that this was His plan.
The Old Testament prophet Jonah had a scary situation to face as well – go to Nineveh (a violent & godless city) and preach coming judgment and needed repentance. Jonah ran. Ananias yielded. Jonah’s fears overtook His view of God. He could not see God’s goodness. Nineveh’s reputation of violence and godless living consumed Jonah’s thoughts so that He could not see God’s goodness…and without a view of God’s goodness, Jonah could not trust the Lord and take a step of courage to follow the Lord’s call. Jonah could not listen to reason! He became unteachable when considering the reputation of Nineveh. We must sharpen our view of our good God – and embrace a teachable spirit – to take steps of courage as a “God focused…Others minded” believer!
He was Movable.
Acts 9:17. Ananias didn’t delay. He moved forward to what God lead Him to do.
What keeps us from moving forward to reaching others? Sure, it will be hard at times! There will be times of:
One way relationship efforts
Frustration…and these are just a few of the things OTHERS are dealing with regarding our relationship with THEM!
The point is — we are all imperfect. We all struggle. BUT -- we are all commanded to: “love one another” … “edify one another” … “bear one another’s burdens.”
The bar is high. Are we so stubborn or selfish that we refuse to follow Christ on this? Why do we think God said to Joshua in Joshua 1:6, “Be strong and of good courage…?” And then again in 1:7, “Only be thou strong and very courageous…” What God calls us to isn’t a life of ease, comfort, and self-focus. He calls us to think of others AND lead these to greater relationship with Him… and He gives us His enabling grace to do it.