That is part of the personal cost we pay for disobedience. We miss being a blessing in someone else’s life; we miss joining with God in His work!
You know how people in movies always have a perfect comeback. I don’t know about you but I wish I always had a good answer. There are times I have a good comeback but many times I hesitate and need time to think of a good response or my answer just seems too long-winded – I use far more words than necessary to respond.
I was reading The Book of Acts, Chapter 9 and came across a man who had the perfect response (See Acts 9:10 – 17). Now I know I had read this chapter before, probably more than once but this time God impressed me with this story in a fresh way.
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananais.” And he said, “Here I am Lord.” Acts 9:10
Here is the first part of Ananais perfect answer. It is immediate. No hesitation, no question, no long speech, just a simple, “Here I am.” I picture him almost snapping to attention, like a military man, instantly ready and willing to respond to an officer’s call or instruction.
God, finding a willing servant, gives Ananais very specific instructions. Notice that God tells him that Saul is praying. How awesome of God to let Ananais know that he is the answer to Saul’s prayer! Ever think of yourself that way; that YOU may be the answer to someone else’s prayer? When you call a friend who is feeling down, you are an answer to their prayer for comfort; when you speak to someone who is lonely, you are the answer to their prayer for a friend.
But Ananais has a concern and I love how he honestly discusses it with God. Saul had been traveling around, persecuting those who followed Jesus (See Acts 8:2); Ananais fear of Saul was understandable. God is not surprised, dismayed or upset by our thoughts and feelings, He understands; He wants to hear from us and we can freely express our fears, worries and concerns to Him.
The result of Ananais immediate response and honest expression, the second part of his perfect answer, is in verse 17, Ananais departed and entered the house (where Saul was staying). Would I obey so quickly? Sorry to say I don’t know – I would like to say yes. I have not always obeyed God as quickly as I should and there have been times I chose disobedience but God is working on me.
If Ananais had not obeyed, God would have used someone else to answer Saul’s prayer and Ananais would have missed seeing what God was about to do in Saul’s life. That is part of the personal cost we pay for disobedience. We miss being a blessing in someone else’s life; we miss joining with God in His work!
My prayer is to be more like Ananais. Immediate response, honest expression, immediate obedience – Good Answer!