It’s rather funny to me that this post continues to be delayed! This time it was a power outage. But, here it is, finally.
Sometimes obedience means doing all I can to preserve my ability to minister. It means protecting my family. It means not foolishly making myself a target for this world just to make some form of declaration.
I would love to stand on that platform of obedience all the time. Suffering comes enough on its own without me actively exposing myself, right? True, there are times when it comes just because we are servants of Christ, but obviously there are things I can do to protect myself most of the time. That had to be what Ananias thought, too.
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” Acts 9:10-14
Sometimes God does call us to lay low and preserve our ability to minister. But other times He calls us to intentionally expose ourselves to further His kingdom. Ananias is not the only example. Many bold witnesses throughout history have stepped forward, placed themselves in harm’s way, and boldly obeyed. Some, like Ananias, have survived the experience. Others have not. Ananias had no idea what his obedience would bring. All He knew was that God told him, in no uncertain terms, that he was to go.
And he did.
Would I? Would you? I would love to offer an emphatic, "Yes! Of course I would obey!" But would I really? Have I?
The most beautiful part of this story in Acts lies in the reassurance of God. He tells Ananias that Saul would be God’s chosen vessel to carry the Gospel to the Gentiles. God always grants reassurance. It might not be reassurance that I will be kept safe in every instance. But it will be the promise of the accomplishment of His will. He will always be glorified.
May we walk boldly forward on that assurance, never stepping out foolishly to expose ourselves unnecessarily, but never holding back when God has told us to go. May we be willing to risk it all if He calls us to do so.