A man once bragged that he had cut off the tail of a man-eating lion with his pocket knife. When asked why he had not cut off the lion's head, the man replied: “Someone has already done that.” (Source: Unknown)
This is not true courage; however, true courage is needed to obey. Courage is found in Jesus through His enabling grace!
Take a moment and ready Acts 9:10-17. It is the story of God calling Ananias to help a new believer. This new believer’s name was Saul (the persecutor…of Christians).
Ananias was a key leader in the early NT church of Jerusalem; however, he wasn’t THE key leader. Ananias would be used to help establish key leadership that would rise above him.
We are ALL needed in the body of Christ! Everyone has different roles -- but all are part of God’s plan, God called, and God enabled! What are you doing right now in the local church? Are you doing more than warming a bench? I guarantee you God has more for you, if you are willing…willing to serve your Savior.
The job God had for Ananias was not easy. It was actually scary!
I recently had someone ask what the possible outcomes of following God would be, before they were willing to consider following God. No one can tell you that. Only God knows the answers to such questions. Believer, we don’t get to see 5 days or 5 years down the path before saying yes to taking a step of faith. We follow God by faith (not by sight), no matter where He leads us. God led Esther to the throne room, David to a giant, Nathaniel to confront an adulterer, Daniel to a lion’s den, Jonah to a violent & godless city, and Elijah to confront an idolater ruler.
When we struggle with following God by faith – we struggle with trusting God because we don’t see or remember He is good.
Let’s take a look at Ananias’ response to God’s call to help someone he wouldn’t naturally want to help.
He was available.
Acts 9:10. Remember the days when you sat in class as a child, the teacher asked a question to which you knew the answer? It was exciting to know the answer! So, your hand would go in the air, waving it widely in the hopes that your teacher would choose you…and to add a special piece of flare you would be heard saying something like, “Ooo! Ooo!”
God calls Ananias and Ananias says, “I’m here, Lord.” Look at his response to God’s call.
His response was immediate. Ananias answered when God called. He didn’t wait until a better time for his schedule or when he was ready. Ananias responded when God called.
His response was respectful. Ananias didn’t roll his eyes or think, “Oh, no! What does God want this time?”
His response was ready. Simply put — Ananias was ready to go to do what God asked of him. Ananias trusted God, but to trust God, he had to believe God is good.
He was Usable.
Acts 9:11. Have you ever gone to the gym and seen those guys flexing their muscles for 5 minutes as they stare at themselves in the weight room mirrors? They do that because they are impressed with their progress. They are pleased with how strong they are and how much stronger they are becoming!
God equipped Ananias for what God called him to do. I am sure Ananias felt weak for such a task. He even spoke of his fears to God in this passage!
It is not about my abilities and what I know I can or want to do. It is about what God calls me to do and enables me by His grace. The problem is never ability…the problem is a willing heart. It is always God who gives the strength.
Availability and Usability are two crucial responses of courage to following God. Take some time to consider how these look in your life today.