13”But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” (Acts 9:13–16)
Have you ever said to the LORD, “Lord, I will go where you want me to go and I will do what you want me to do?” Perhaps you have. I know I have; many times and in many situations.
Perhaps Ananias made that promise also, but we do not know for sure that he did. What we do know about him we have previously examined from Acts 22:12 which says, “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well-spoken of by all the Jews who lived there.” It’s not too much of a stretch to presume that if Ananias was a devout man according to the Law of God, then he would be more than willing to go and to do whatever God wanted of him.
However, Ananias was not too enthusiastic about ministering to Saul of Tarsus, and with good reason. Ananias said to the Lord: “13Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name” (Acts 9:13-14). Ananias was more than a little concerned and worried about what the Lord wanted him to do and where Jesus wanted him to go.
Yet the Lord had a ready response. He always does. Jesus said to Ananias, “15Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:15-16).
The word “go” (Πορεύου; poreuou) is a present middle imperative verb. This means that Jesus gave Ananias a personal command that he was personally expected to obey. There would be no negotiations or compromises. What Jesus wanted from Ananias was obedience, plain and simple. This, as we shall soon see, is what Jesus would want from Saul. This is what Jesus wants from believers today.
Are there any areas of your life in which you struggle being obedient unto the Lord? I’m sure you do. I know that I do. Every believer struggles to some extent with obedience and correspondingly with disobedience before God, which is sin.
Pray that God will give you a willing heart to be obedient to Jesus. May your commitment to obedience be evident in being willing, ready and able to go where the Lord wants you to go and to do what the Lord wants you to do.
Soli deo Gloria!