A Man Named Ananias…What Can We Learn From Him?

Originally posted on July 29, 2010 at 12:12 am

Scripture Reference;

1And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

2And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

3And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

4And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

6And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

7And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

8And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

9And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

10And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

11And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

12And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

13Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

14And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

15But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

16For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

17And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

18And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

19And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

20And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. Acts 9:1-20 KJV


2But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.3To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.  John 10:2-3 KJV

27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.30I and my Father are one. John 10:27-30 KJV


If anyone is asked who they might read about in the ninth chapter of the book of Acts they probably would say Saul (also known as Paul), but I want to look at another man. His name was Ananias. There is a lot that I learn from “his story”.

First of all, the Lord spoke to Ananias: And the Lord said to him in a vision,“Ananias!”When I read that the Lord spoke to Ananias I found myself focusing on the fact that it was the Lord that initiated that conversation, and also that He called Ananias by name. I also liked Ananias’s reply, “Behold, I am here Lord”.  I was reminded that although we may initiate conversations with the Lord when we go to Him in prayer, the Lord also has something to say, something to lay on our hearts. When the Lord calls out to us (draws us) we, too should reply “Behold, I am here Lord.”.  Then we should pause to listen.

When I looked at verses 13-14  I noticed that Ananias let the Lord know that he was afraid to go and he explained why. So often the Lord desires us to do things  that make us uncomfortable, and that sometimes are down right scary. Obedience isn’t always easy. It is okay to tell the Lord about our fears. He wants to hear about them, and he knows about them anyway. He tells us in the Bible to cast our fears on Him. Telling is part of casting. In the Psalms David sometimes called it “pouring out my complaint”. There is something so healing about confessing …confessing our sins, our hurts and our fears. When we do this the Lord  gives us the courage to obey Him. We may fear and tremble, but the Lord “WILL” work in us both  ” to be willing” and “to be able” to do His good pleasure (to obey Him). See Philippians 2:12-13.

I also noticed that when Ananias was speaking he mentioned his knowledge of the evil that Saul had done to the saints, but the Lord assured him that He had chosen Paul (Saul). This both comforted and convicted me. It comforted me because I, myself have done evil to the saints. I haven’t had anyone thrown into prison, but I have many times criticized people (especially other Christians) to my family and closest friends. It’s bad enough to think bad thoughts, to be quick to judge, to carry that chip on my shoulder, but when I “share those thoughts” I am only piling  sin upon sin. When I realize what I have done (usually as soon as the words are spoken) I feel very ashamed, because it is not fair and they are precious in the Lord’s sight. Then I confess what I have done, and pray for help not to do that anymore. It is humbling for me to admit that I am capable of doing that, but it is also comforting to remember that Paul himself wrote in Romans 7 and 8, as well as in other passages that Christians still sin, but that doesn’t make us any less saved or chosen. He didn’t continue to persecute the saints but he did have criticisms from time to time….and many of his criticisms were expressed in his instructions to the churches (These criticisms were not sins), but I suspect that one of his sins that he  committed once in awhile might very well have been to criticize too harshly.  There is another good thing that comes when I acknowledge my own sin. It helps me to be more accepting of others and more eager to build up instead of tearing down. We should, like Ananias, acknowledge that they are our “brothers” and “sisters”; that should mean something to us.

Now I want to look again at Acts 9:17-18:

17 So Ananias left and entered the house. Then he placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (P)

18 At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 And after taking some food, he regained his strength. (Q)

20 Immediately he began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “He is the Son of God.”

After the Lord spoke with him, Ananias did as he was told, and a wonderful thing happened. Saul’s sight was restored, he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and Baptized…and that’s not all! Saul (Paul) started many churches and preached the gospel in many places. He is the author of many of the books in the New Testament. There is a lot more written in the Bible about Paul than Ananias, and it is the same with us today. Some Christians are known by multitudes while others are remembered by only a few, but we have no idea what God has planned for the person to whom we show grace and mercy, or how far reaching a kindness can be. Let us not grow weary in well doing!

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click here:https://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/category/about-salvation-very-important-words/ and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just click here:www.biblegateway.com They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

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23 Comments

  1. March 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Theresa, This is an excellent post! I love your reminder that we can tell God about our fears. I noticed, too, that when Ananias expressed his fears to God, God reassured him instead of telling his fears were stupid or unfounded. Peace, Linda

  2. March 13, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Linda,

    I am so glad you liked it. I was also comforted by the Lord’s response to Ananias. I just love it when I get these glimpses of God’s unchanging character. I was so blessed recently by a post Deb made from Luke 9 where the Lord performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

    I am learning that the Lord is very sympathetic and understanding in His dealings with us. I still have a long way to go, because I struggle with thoughts that tell me I am the exception to the rule…thoughts that make me feel condemned. I don’t know where or when they originated, but it has been a struggle of mine since I was a kid. But the Lord is helping me, and I am so grateful.

    Blessings,
    Theresa

  3. March 13, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Theresa, A while back I posted a video of the song “Beautiful” by MercyMe on my blog. It was my first “Music Monday Extra,” which has since become a regular Monday afternoon feature. You should go watch the video here: http://lindakruschke.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/music-monday-extra-beautiful/ . It’s a wonderful song and a great reminder that we are loved by God. The devil would love for us to believe otherwise, but as with all he tells us it is a lie that we are condemned. Peace, Linda

    • March 13, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      Linda,

      Thank you so much! I listened to it and it was so encouraging and uplifting. The verses that I shared from Psalm 18 on your blog apply. Sometimes the Lord can use a special song to lift us up. I posted that video on my facebook page, and someone already clicked “like”! 🙂

      Blessings,
      Theresa

  4. Linda said,

    March 14, 2011 at 2:42 am

    “Behold I am here, Lord.”

    I hope that if I am ever someday called to serve in a way that is scary, I will have the same courage Ananias had in going to Saul. I am a coward, so if I am called this will be very likely. : )

    Yes, God wants to hear from us in our moments of shame, joy, and desire for instruction. I often forget to listen… an important part of worship that you stressed here. I am very talkative, even in prayer…

    I’m here tonight resting in peace, with no “bad thoughts” to plague me, but tomorrow is a new day with new thoughts to wrestle.

    Another beautiful piece, Theresa. Thank you for being a forum for our thoughts, confessions, and HUGS! : )

    • March 14, 2011 at 3:15 am

      Linda,

      I don’t know why, but you just don’t come across as cowardly to me. 🙂

      I don’t always listen very well and I am so forgetful about certain things. I can learn something new, write about it, and then a few weeks later read the same post and find myself saying “Oh, that’s right…I forgot about that.”.

      I am so glad you comment here you add so much. I never will forget about that prayer you shared with me awhile back. Now that was a brave prayer!

      HUGS,

      Theresa

      • Linda said,

        March 15, 2011 at 1:26 am

        Ohhhh…

        I wrote about that prayer, then forgot about it! I forget lots of things too, but I am so happy you liked it… : )

        In the waiting room at the dentist today I was reading some of my early blogposts on my Kindle. Didn’t remember writing some of that stuff, and same as you I said, “Yeah… that’s right…”

        Hugs… : )

      • Linda said,

        March 15, 2011 at 1:30 am

        P.S. Thank you for putting me on your blogroll! You can tell I’m still a beginner because stuff like this just excites the heck out of me! : ) : )

      • March 15, 2011 at 1:51 am

        Linda,

        I go to your blog…a lot. I go when you first write a post. Then I go back a number of times to see the comments. 🙂

        I remember this one you wrote quite awhile back about masks…I think I will go back and read it again. There was something about it that really meant something to me.

        Just wait until you find yourself on some obscure blog roll you have never seen before, and you find yourself wondering who they are. One time I clicked on a referrer link on my dashboard and it was something to do with Melissa Etheridge…and sure enough there I was in their blogroll. I guess someone who liked her liked me, too. LOL

  5. Debbie said,

    March 14, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Linda K. . . .I LOVE that song. It ministers to me every time. And I heard it was #1 on the charts of some sort. 🙂
    Linda . . .I adore that this a forum for our hugs! 🙂
    Oh Theresa, this post was so powerful for me. And exciting too! What a wonderful thing happened when Ananias did as he was told! wow! Can you imagine?
    Now, confession time, ’cause this is a forum for that too, right? ha! When you listen for God, and He tells you something to do . . .how do you know it’s Him? Sometimes I think I’m suppose to do things, but then I wonder if it’s just me making it up and not Him. Other times, there have been things that He’s told me, where I know it’s Him for sure. These have been more of wisdom type words than specific instructions. Just wondering if any one else wonders about this. Or am I just needing some instructions from my sisters and brothers about receiving His instructions? ha! Thank you for your help!!!
    God bless you and keep you writing to us from Him!

    • March 14, 2011 at 3:54 am

      Deb,

      “When you listen for God, and He tells you something to do . . .how do you know it’s Him?”

      Wow…that is a hard question. I am going to pray and think some about that. I hope any readers out there including those who have already commented will please share their thoughts. This is a very important subject that I too am hoping to learn more about.

      Deb, I am so glad you asked that question. I hope you have a good night’s sleep and maybe tomorrow we will have some great thoughts to read! 🙂

      Love,
      Theresa

      • March 14, 2011 at 4:27 am

        Deb,

        It’s me again. I just thought of something. I can think of two instances when I know that it is “NOT” the Lord speaking. I know that we are all subject to earthly authority figures. Here are a few passages:

        A Christian’s Duties to the State

        1 Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, (A) for there is no authority except from God, (B) and those that exist are instituted by God. 2 So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror (C) to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do good and you will have its approval. 4 For government is God’s servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger (D) that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. 5 Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience. (E) 6 And for this reason you pay taxes, since the [authorities] are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks. [a] 7 Pay your obligations (F) to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, (G) tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, (H) and honor to those you owe honor. Romans 13: 1-7 HCSB

        13 Submit (AI) to every human institution because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor [j] as the supreme authority, (AJ) 14 or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For it is God’s will (AK) that you, by doing good, silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 As God’s slaves, (AL) [live] as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil. (AM) 17 Honor everyone. Love (AN) the brotherhood. (AO) Fear God. (AP) Honor the Emperor. [k] 1 Peter 2:13-17 HCSB

        22 Wives, (AB) submit (AC) [f] to your own husbands (AD) as to the Lord, 23 for the husband is head of the wife (AE) as also Christ is head (AF) of the church. He is the Savior of the body. (AG) 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives should [submit] to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24

        1 Wives, (A) in the same way, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the [Christian] message, (B) they may be won over (C) [a] without a message by the way their wives live, (D) 2 when they observe your pure, reverent lives. (E) 3 Your beauty should not consist of outward things [like] elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments [b] or fine clothes; (F) 4 instead, [it should consist of] the hidden person of the heart (G) with the imperishable quality of a gentle (H) and quiet (I) spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes. 5 For in the past, the holy (J) women who hoped (K) in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, 6 just as Sarah (L) obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do good and aren’t frightened by anything alarming. (M) 1 Peter3:1-6 HCSB

        Oh my goodness…here is a zinger!:

        40 As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, [o] let him have your coat [p] as well. 41 And if anyone forces [q] you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. (AP)Matthew 5:40-42 HCSB

        [The Matthew 5:40-42 is hard. I might be wrong, but in instances like those I tell people that I must get my husband’s permission. Then I leave it up to him. I might be wrong for doing that, but that is what I “think” I probably need to do. I figure if I am forced into choosing whether to obey my husband or someone else who is not in authority over him I probably should honor my wedding vows.]

        In light of the above Bible verses I would have to say that if one were feeling lead to do something that would be in disobedience to any of the authority figures mentioned above that it wasn’t the Lord leading that person. The exception would be if a person or a law came into power that demanded we do something that is a sin then we would need to obey God first. I can think of examples where God’s children did that. Daniel and the other two Hebrew children who were thrown into the furnace, the midwives in the book of Exodus, and Abigale (Nabal’s wife).

        I know that this still doesn’t answer your question, Deb, because something can be legal and okay with our spouse, and still not be the Lord’s will in a given situation. I really am looking forward to hearing the thoughts of others on this subject.

        Love,
        Theresa

  6. Debbie said,

    March 14, 2011 at 5:51 am

    You are doing great with that question, Theresa! 🙂 That really helps in this way, that the things I can think of that He asked me to do were not going against authority. Now, I am convicted and sad in a way because I think that often more what happens in my case is that I drop the ball. He shares something with me to do . . .and I get excited, maybe even take a stab at it, but don’t follow through. Don’t persevere. Or just don’t quite get it right. Other times I have done something that I thought was Him and have had Him correct me. Those haven’t been bad things, just times of not quite hearing Him right and He had to keep tweaking me to line me up with His will and what He was wanting. So perhaps for simple me . . .to pray, listen and then go ahead and act on what I believe He is saying. If I got it wrong, He will tweak me back into His will. Humbling, but that is good for me! And that would be better than not acting on what He says at all!
    Thank you so much Theresa! I love learning and growing here. It’s safe and warm and lovely. And I can’t wait to here what others have to say! 🙂

    • March 14, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      Deb,

      I think I understand what you are saying, and I can identify. I have done those things that you mentioned, too.

      I know that because I am just a human I can’t know the intentions of another person’s heart, but there have been times when I have commented on other people’s blogs and responded to comments on mine, and just did a bad job. Then you would make a comment that was much more appropriate and edifying. That shows that you have a heart attitude that is very kind and loving. It also shows that you have a measure of Spiritual discernment that I still do not possess.

      I am afraid it was a little irresponsible of me to have posted this entry without anticipating that someone might ask the question you asked, and without having an explanation to share in answer to that question.

      I read a blog entry written by a man yesterday or the day before that. I had clicked on one of my tags to see posts on the same subject by other people. I don’t think I had ever read anything by him before. His post voiced a concern that has been on my mind from time to time ever since I first started blogging. He quoted a passage I think in the book of James about how many people should not teach, because if they teach error they will be in worse trouble than if they merely believe error. That scared me, because there are parts of the Bible that I still haven’t “seriously” studied…especially some of the Old Testament books and also the book of Revelation. I bet you and some of the others who have commented here have succeeded me in many areas of both study and disciplined living.

      I still believe your question is very important, and I am going to pray and try to write a blog entry devoted to it.

      You have become so dear to my heart for so many reasons. Thank you so much for being my friend.

      Love,
      Theresa

      • Debbie said,

        March 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm

        Oh sweet one! No worries over my weird questions! I always need help and you are so patient with me. And such a good teacher. I love how His word just comes to you! And this time, what you shared really helped. 🙂 You were not irresponsible!!!!
        I’ll give an example of my not getting it quite right, in case it helps someone else. I signed up for an at home copy writing course. Thought it would be something I could do and still take care of my daughter, and help out financially. Was specifically wanting to help my oldest go on through law school. I got almost done with it before it really dawned on me that I wasn’t going to be able to do it. It would take 8 to 10 hours a day and I just wasn’t able to do that. 30 min a day is a stretch. Then here’s what happened, because I thought this was from God, right? So, God took me through all this material I was getting and learning from and started showing me something in His word that applied to it. And I wrote devotions for a whole year like this. So I got the part right that He wanted me to write, but it took some tweaking to get me doing a blog. . .minus the copy writing. haha! Now, who’s the mess?
        So thankful that you befriended me! I’m so much better for it!!!
        love you – deb

  7. bendedspoon said,

    March 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    ‘Let us not grow weary in well doing!’
    Was able to this the other day and I ask God to give me the strength to not get tired even though my mind is rebelling. What a test. Please pray that I pass it 🙂

    • March 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      Rea,

      I will pray. Please pray for me, too. I’m afraid that sometimes I think I am doing good things when I am really doing bad things, or even good things with a bad motive. I am a mess.

      Love,
      Theresa

  8. Margaret said,

    March 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Hi Theresa,

    Ananias was evidently a man of faith and God used him to straighten out Paul’s zealous misunderstandings of God’s word…. We need to think about how it was his faith that led him to obey in spite of his fears…. God has many things to teach us in His word and it will be faith that will lead us to obey His will…. Speaking up for our Lord can be scary, even today…. Thank you for this post.

    Love,
    Margaret

    • March 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm

      Margaret,

      I am thinking about your words… “speaking up for our Lord can be scary, even today”.

      For me it is scary in more than one way. The world is becoming increasingly more hostile toward Christians and Christian values. When we write we are probably putting ourselves even more at risk that way. The thing that scares me even more is when I consider the possibility that I have written about the Lord when I was not lead by Him…that I could possibly be doing one thing when He would desire me to do something else. I also have a tendency to go back and read my posts and the resulting exchange of comments, and find myself searching for error. The thought of believing wrong things and causing others to believe wrong things has been so scary that at times I have thought about deleting my whole blog. I have prayed about it a number of times.

      Thank you for your encouraging words.Please pray for me.

      Love,
      Theresa

      • Margaret said,

        March 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm

        Hi Theresa,

        I have that very same concern — especially when someone else reads one of my posts with a totally wrong understanding of what was actually said….. I go over it and try to figure out how they came to such a conclusion, but to no avail…. I want to be totally in the truth and very clear about that truth.

        And then I think about how some people can even read the Bible — the inspired word of God — and twist it around to claim something totally opposite.

        We do need to strive to be in accord with what God has said, but when everything is done with prayer, I think we just have to entrust the rest to our Lord…. In the meantime, Christians do need to make a presence on the Internet, just because there is so much bad stuff out there that greatly influences a lot of people….. People need some access to the love and salvation we have in Christ Jesus…. And, you’re a part of that…. Every little bit counts in God’s eyes.

        Love,
        Margaret

      • March 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm

        Margaret,

        I want to thank you so much for your words of encouragement! I truly wish at times that all of us bloggers could live close enough together that we all could have one of those ladies retreats like church ladies sometimes go on. I bet it has been almost 18 years since I last went on one of those!…sigh

        The last time I was on one I worked up the courage to ask the speaker (I think she was a retired missionary) to pray that I would be able to get pregnant. My son was 5 and for 5 years I could not get pregnant for some reason. The funny part was that I was actually already about 1 month pregnant when she prayed for me…I just didn’t know it. The retreat was in October of 1993. Pamela was born June 28th 1994. That summer of 1993 my son Cameron said “Mommy, I prayed to Jesus and asked if he would give me a sister.” I said “Oh, I do not know if we will have any more babies.” Then I told him that I was pregnant, and he said “I’m gonna get a baby sister!” I said “You might get a brother.” Then he reminded me that he had asked for a sister. They only did two ultrasounds during my pregnancy, and they could not tell the sex, so we did not know that it was a girl until she was born. 🙂

        I don’t know why I shared that just now…if that wasn’t a digression I don’t know what else it could have been. Now I am 44 and I have no children to raise…no children to homeschool. What I would give…sigh…

        Oops!…But God is good! His mercy endures forever!

        Love,
        Theresa

  9. August 2, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Reblogged this on Serenaded Softly and commented:

    Add your thoughts hereIf anyone is asked who they might read about in the ninth chapter of the book of Acts they probably would say Saul (also known as Paul), but I want to look at another man. His name was Ananias. There is a lot that I learn from “his story”…. (optional)

    • Debbie said,

      August 2, 2012 at 3:14 am

      Thank you for reblogging this! What a great encouragement to us all! God bless you! love and hugs!


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