“‘Lord, I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.’ But the Lord said, ‘Ananias, Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel’” Acts 9:13-15.
Can you imagine the fear that Ananias must have been experiencing when God called him to face Saul, the rumored persecutor and haters of Christians? Saul had specifically sought out permission to punish Christians and was granted the authority. Ananias tried to convince God that this was a bad idea but God prevailed. God saw the man Saul would become in Christ (Paul) instead of the man Saul had been in the past. In all fairness to Ananias he had reason to be frightened for his life but he chose to be obedient to God in spite of his fears. He boldly obeyed God and courageously faced Saul with one amazing word that showed his belief in God’s promise…brother. Ananias referred to Saul as his brother in Christ before Saul was ever converted. ‘He had chosen to believe what Jesus said about this man rather than what his fear said, and that’s where belief has its finest victory.’ Spirit Hunger, p. 126.
No man or woman is ever evil enough, wrecked beyond repair or too prideful to be used by God. God always sees the potential in everyone and has a purpose for each of our lives. If we have not found our purpose either God is still working out the details or we are too distracted with other priorities. On the flip side if God is calling us to do something that is fearful we must be faithful people and step out on the same vision God has. Like Ananias, we must see our circumstances through what God says they are (Saul would be His chosen instrument) instead of our own logic and reasoning. We will never see God’s vision for our lives through logic, past history or future fear. God is going to carry through with His plans whether we are on board or not. ‘…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it’ Isaiah 55:11.
What future plans are you facing that instill fear? Are you basing your fear on past circumstances or present logic? The challenges for each of us are to see ourselves and others through God’s eyes, and courageously face His plans for our lives with confidence and certainty.