When God Says Stop
Acts 9:17 – 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.”
A few days ago, I shared thoughts on becoming sensitive to the Holy Spirit, instead of clinging tight to traditions of the Law.
And yesterday, I shared my thoughts on evangelizing.
In Acts chapter nine we have an example of a new believer being asked to do what some might describe as a dangerous mission – go visit the Jewish leader who is known to breath out murderous threats against followers of Jesus.
May I be honest? If I had been Ananias, I would have been second guessing this new gospel message and all that God was asking me to do. I may have even been tempted to just flat out disobey and tell God “no”.
Thank goodness Ananias chose to believe God and responded in obedience. Thank goodness Ananias trusted in God’s faithfulness, even when it didn’t make any sense. Thank goodness Ananias is an example we can turn to when we are also asked to do things that take us way out of our comfort zone.
Ananias is called a disciple – so it’s not too much of a stretch to think that he was a devoted man of prayer and scripture study. Ananias was most likely in a spiritual posture to notice when the Lord was speaking to him. He wasn’t so wrapped up in his daily routines that he didn’t know when the Lord called to him in a vision.
On the other hand, Saul, one who was devoted to the Law, had to be struck with blindness in order for the Lord to get his attention.
The dichotomy of how the Lord spoke to these two men is striking, but both were startling. One was approached in a vision, the other lost his vision. One was told “go”, the other was told “stop”. One had to overcome doubt and act in faith, the other had to be humbled and overcome pride.
This story of Saul’s conversion and Ananias’ part in it, shows us that God will use whatever method necessary to get us to stop and listen in order to make an impact for His Kingdom.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Have you ever done something for God that was a reach out of your comfort zone? What was the result? Would you do it again? Would you do something even more daring – for God?
- When was a time God probably wanted you to GO? When was a time God probably wanted you to STOP? Ask God if He is currently calling you to GO or to STOP. Then do it.