The early church experienced great opposition. Saul of Tarsus was on a one-man mission to get rid of this movement that was divisive to Jewish tradition. He ordered that Christians be arrested, tortured and killed. While on his way to Damascus to carry out more vengeance on Christ-followers, he was blinded and knocked to the ground by a powerful light from heaven. Jesus spoke to him in a vision and his path was forever altered, as well as the churches’ potential. In the midst of Saul’s experience, God spoke to one of his devout followers in Damascus named Ananias. When God spoke, Ananias immediately answered “yes.” But that was before he found out that God wanted him to go and lay hands on Saul of Tarsus so that his sight would be restored. Ananias knew Saul’s reputation and why he was in Damascus. He was fearful, yet he did as God instructed and Saul’s sight was restored. Ananias witnessed Paul’s baptism and conversion. Ananias was instrumental in God’s plan for the church. If he had said “no,” history would have been rewritten. Paul’s teaching brought the gospel to the Gentiles and his many missionary journeys took the good news to those who lived abroad. Paul greatly influenced the spreading of the gospel and wrote most of the New Testament. You don’t know the difference that saying “yes” to God can make.
Acts 9:4-6, 10-18
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered.
A Sunday school teacher named Edward Kimball taught 7-10 teens each weekend. They often fell asleep in class. Edward prayed daily for his students. One day he felt the Holy Spirit prompting him to go and see one of the young men at his work. After struggling with whether or not to go, Edward went to the shoe store where the young man worked, walked up to him, placed his hand on the boy’s shoulder and said, “God wants you to give your life to Jesus.” After some awkward silence, Edward left the store wondering what he had just done. That evening the young man went home and gave his life to Christ. That young man was Dwight L. Moody, founder of Moody Bible College, Moody Publishing Company, etc. Billy Graham came to Christ because of a chain of events that started with Dwight Moody. When Edward said “yes” to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, he had no comprehension of the impact. Generations were affected for Christ because he was willing to walk into a shoe store and deliver a message as God instructed. If you say “no” when God calls, your church loses, your city loses and the Kingdom of God loses, and you lose out on experiencing the supernatural activity of God in your life.
Did someone lead you to Christ or influence you to accept Jesus? If so, how would life have been different without their witness? Did someone invite you to FF? Who invited them? Who have you invited? How might one invitation influence the future of many? Is it easy for you to share your faith? How do you take time to listen for God’s voice? Describe a time when you followed God’s prompting and then weren’t sure of the purpose. Who in your life needs to receive Jesus? How are you witnessing to them? Are you asking God to open doors of opportunity?
Pray for opportunities to experience God’s supernatural power. Say “yes” when the Holy Spirit moves you to do something.
Heavenly Father, open my ears and my heart to your voice. I am willing to be your hands and your feet. Give me the courage I need and the words to say. Help me to show your love and care to those around me.
In Jesus’ Precious Name I pray, Amen.