I played football at Abilene High School. One time God clearly impressed upon me the following instruction: “I want you to talk to Steve about Me.” Steve was the biggest, baddest, strongest guy on the team. He hit me so hard one time on the football field I woke up in a parallel universe. He terrified me.
But outright disobeying God terrified me more.
So, I caught Steve one day after practice and we talked for a moment about Jesus. It turned out not so terrifying after all.
In Acts 9, Saul (whose name would eventually be changed to Paul) is full of blood-lust, on a mission to destroy Christians. Then,…on his way to the city of Damascus to murder and imprison Christians, Saul is met by the almighty, terrifying Lion of the tribe of Judah: Jesus Christ.
Game, Set, Match.
Saul is changed. Immediately. But, for the moment, he’s also blind. Jesus instructs Saul to go on into Damascus, stay with a man named Judas, and wait.
On the other side of town lived a man named Ananias. And God gave him some terrifying instructions: “Go find Saul, and lay your hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” Ananias is terrified – and for good reason. He replies, “But Lord, I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.” (vss 13-14)
But Ananias was more terrified of outright disobeying God than he was of Saul’s reputation.
So, Ananias went. He found Saul, laid his hands on him, prayed for him, and Paul regained his sight.
Just like my experience with Steve at AHS, Ananias’ experience turned out not so terrifying after all.
David wrote, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;…” (Psalm 23:4) And that makes all the difference.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick