Obedience and Fear

Now there was a believer[a] in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord!” he replied. (Acts 9:10 NLT)
Ananias and Saul

Ananias was an obscure Biblical character.  Though, in spite of his relative anonymity, he became a disciple that instructed the great Apostle Paul.  He experienced a common problem that most of us have, fear. Yet, he exercised obedience in the midst of alarm.  

There are two reasons God could use Ananias as he did. First, he heard the voice of the Lord.  God speaks to people who are listening.  It appears that Ananias did not consider it unusual that God has spoken to him through the vision. He merely said, “Yes, Lord!”  A common thread among successful people in the Bible was that they heard from God.  Second, he was willing to obey what the Lord told him to do.  God told him to go and pray for Saul of Tarsus (vs.11-12).  Next, Ananias tells the Lord all the reasons why he should not go to Saul (vs. 13-14).  Our weakness does not threaten God.  Communication, even with God, is always a two-way street.  God firmly tells him, “Go and do what I say” (v.15), and in spite of his reluctance, Ananias obeyed.

We often wait for God to take away the fear so that we might obey him. We have put the cart before the horse.  God awaits our obedience, and then he will help us overcome our anxieties. An old preacher was once asked, “do you still get butterflies in in your stomach when you speak?” He answered, “yes, but I have learned to get them into a flying formation.”  Ananias knew that courage was not the absence of fear, but trusting God in the midst of it.

Image used with permission by Microsoft. 

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing


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