Activated For God

Each True Disciple Of Christ Can Be Powerfully Used By God

Activated For God
Image Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2018 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).
The true Christian life is not boring, especially when one works with God. Obedience to God is sometime exciting, but always fruitful as we see in Acts 9.

Ananias of Damascus probably did not know what blessing to others his obedience to God would bring. Let us look into Acts 9 for encouragement for each disciple to be powerfully used by God.

The true Christian life is not one where there is nothing to do. That does not mean a Christian does things “to get to heaven.” A real Christian does things for the Kingdom of God because they really love God. Obedience to God is an expression of our love for God. And, when we obey Him we not only love Him back, but our obedience blesses others. In so doing we love others with the love of Christ.

The Holy Bible has a number of examples of this, especially in the Book Of The Acts Of The Apostles.

It has been said it should be called the Book Of The Acts Of The Holy Spirit Through The Apostles. Acts not only mentions certain apostles, but also speaks of certain disciples. One such disciple is Ananias of Damascus. Acts 9:10-17 tells what happened to him, but with that I would like to start with verse 1 of Acts 9 so you get the background.

“Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3  As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 5  And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.’ 7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
  10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ 11 And the Lord said to him, ‘Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.’ 13 But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.’ 15 But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake.’ 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ 18  And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized.”

Admittedly, this a very bold act of obedience by Ananias. While not every disciple of Christ will get a chance to directly influence a seeker in such a spectacular way, every disciple is to obey God in various ways out of love for Him. Let us look at four aspects found in verses 10 to 17 that show how all disciples of Christ are activated for God.

I. Disciple, 10a

“Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias”

Activated for God begins with being a disciple of Jesus. That begins when one sincerely admits to God they are a sinner, repents, and asks Christ (Messiah) into their heart to be King of their life. Christ actually comes in (Revelation 3:20), and the fellowship and training begins. The new convert needs to immediately begin to prayerfully read and study the Holy Bible. 1 John and the Gospel of John are great places to begin.

The new one in Christ should continue to speak with God. This is prayer. There are focused times of prayer where praying is the only thing you are doing, but the inward communication between the believer and God ought to be constant. As one does this, Christ within teaches and trains the true child of God. The disciple senses the voice of God {1} speaking to His heart. The disciple listens to Him and the more he obeys the more he will hear.

II. Sensitive To The Voice Of God, 10b

“and the Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’”

A “hear I am, Lord” indicates a disciple is listening to God and is ready to respond. A disciple ought to be primarily directed by the written Word (the Holy Bible in a reliable translation), the actual life of Christ within, and direct leading by the Holy Spirit as when Christ was directed by the Holy Spirit to the wilderness. However, the written Word is supreme since there are times we may mistakenly believe what we feel or think is the will of God.

A disciple will soon learn God uses other means of guidance {2} such as dreams, signs, prophecies, interpretation of tongues and a few other ways. A vision is spoken of in this passage. But it must be emphasized all of these just mentioned, and those not mentioned, will never contradict the written Word in its entirety. Also, they are not superior to the written Word, nor are they even equal to it. Sadly, within the Pentecostal-Charismatic realm there is the tendency to make all of what was just mentioned as equal or superior to the Holy Bible.

And, before we continue, it must be said that the English word “vision” is used in at least two ways in the Holy Bible. One way means like a goal. The other way is how we have it in our text before us where one visually perceives something with their eyes open or shut. It is very interesting that “vision” and “visions” occur in a total of twelve verses in Acts.

The vision Ananias had meets the standard of not conflicting with the written Word of God. It certainly agrees with it since the drawing of all people to YHVH is mentioned by the Holy prophets. It also matches the command of Christ to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, which was later incorporated in the New Testament by the Holy Spirit.

III. Co-worker With God,  11-16

In verses 11 and 12 we see God gives Ananias the assignment to simply go and pray for Saul of Tarsus, who was given a vision by God of Ananias doing that. For those that do not know the story, the very devout Jew Saul felt that belief in Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah was very much against the written Word of God. For anyone to be hung on wood to die was certainly cursed by God. How could Messiah, the Anointed One, be cursed of God?

Yes, Saul was basing His thinking on the written Word, but sadly the texts speaking of a suffering Messiah were overshadowed in many minds by a conquering Messiah. Even before the Jews became a nation, when we read Genesis we see a quick drifting away in regard to God’s directive to have Messiah provide redemption for sinners.

We see Ananias was hesitant about praying for Saul. This is not unlike Moses and others. It happens today. Back in the 1800s God told George Mueller to start an orphanage. Brother Mueller told God that he did not have money. God affirmed to him to do it. Brother Mueller took the first step or two and he soon had an orphanage running.

More recently, and very much like the case where Ananias was told by God to pray for Saul, was a report of a young Christian girl in Egypt. At the time of writing this article, certain Muslims in Egypt would purposely focus upon Christian girls to abuse and even kill them. This young lady had to go somewhere and had to do so by cab. She gets in a cab. She notes that the outward appearance of the cab driver is a very clear indication that he was a Muslim of the vicious type. 

She senses God telling her to tell Him that God loves Him and wants Him to come to Christ. Just like Ananias, but speaking inwardly to God, she tells God her concerns. God insisted. She then asks God if she can do it when she gets to her destination and pays the fare. God says that was OK. She nervously does that and starts to hurry away, but then the driver tells her to come back. He told her that he had a dream where God told him He would send a young lady to him to tell him about Jesus.

Indeed, these are spectacular accounts. However, we should not look for “the spectacular”, but we are to remember and obey the holy God Who, in merciful love, deals with men {3}. We should not think ourselves less important if we do not have experiences of this magnitude. It should be considered our loving obedient response to His commands brings just as much glory to God, whether others know it or not.

These accounts show levels of hesitation on the part of disciples. While absolute radical obedience would be the ideal, our merciful God works with us to work on us. In all this we see it is the plan of God to use people to bring people into His Kingdom or edify those already in His Kingdom. It could be said this is the preferred way. When a disciple does this they are a co-worker with God.

IV. Minister (Servant) 17

“So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’”

Even if any are “disabled" we all have purpose, and it is more so if we are a true child of God. If we are a true child of God we are activated for God for ministry. Many times God uses His true child to pray for others. Sometimes that means we need a little boldness from God to follow through. So, by faith Ananias did as he was told. By faith he enters the house, lays his hands upon Saul, and calls him “brother”. I am of the opinion that Saul being a very devout Jew wanted to make absolutely sure the statements about Jesus of Nazareth were true. 

In speaking to Saul, Ananias said God sent him there so Saul would regain his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. We see in the next verse “something like scales” fell from Saul’s eyes.

Quite often “filled with the Holy Spirit” means filled to the point where one miraculously speaks in another language as led by the Holy Spirit. While there is no record here that Saul spoke in tongues at that moment, by the Spirit he does mention in 1 Corinthians 14:18 that he spoke in tongues. Whether or not he spoke in tongues within days from the time he was converted, he sure enough was filled the Holy Spirit to proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah. As we read the book of Acts we see Saul was later called Paul -- the Apostle Paul.

Some of today’s disciples might think the spectacular in the spiritual realm will not happen with them but, again, remember the focus should be on obeying God out of love and for His glory. We might think the things we do are simple and do not have much effect, but keep in mind the “big names” like Billy Graham were influenced and witnessed to by people we never heard of, the sequence of which goes back no doubt to the day of Pentecost. There is a sequential list of people that simply obeyed God, affecting the next person, on to the next, and so on until one finally comes to Billy Graham. This means we do not know in this life the full results of our obedience to God, no matter how simple it seems to us.

Every true Christian is to be a minister (priest) of God on some level, and primarily to the household of God. Yes, the unsaved need to be reached for Christ, but the individual members of the Body of Christ need to be spiritually healthy to also be soul winners, and also mentors, being prepared to help new converts and those facing problems.

All disciples go through a variety of difficult times and those that mature in Christ are the ones who have learned with Christ within them to be directed by the Holy Spirit in overcoming, which develops the character of Christ within them. This helps them to be more able to minister to others in need. Consider 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

And let us go a little deeper for those that are married. Much of the Church has fallen prey to the notion that d-iv-orc-e {4}, and d-iv-or-ce and rem-ar-ria-ge is acceptable. I beg you to really examine the Holy Scriptures. Please see my Marriage Pages at oasisofhope.neocities.org {5}. Whether any marital problems we have are great or small, we are earnestly to seek the grace of God that will produce the fruit of longsuffering within us. It is always wrong to disrupt the work of God in your life, or your spouse’s life, with a d-iv-orc-e. D-ivo-r-ces in the Church weaken the Body of Christ.

Yes, the account of Ananias and Paul is quite spectacular, but in all probability what will really shine in eternity will be things we may never hear about here, like the husband and wife that sought the grace of God and not a divorce, or that seemingly fruitless young man who seemed never to bring anyone to Christ (but he actually did by ministering as led by the Holy Spirit), or that old lady that never told anyone she was a prayer warrior for God.

Let each disciple be like Ananias of Damascus who, indeed was a disciple. He was in fellowship with God through Christ. He listened to God and obeyed. He was activated by God for the glory of God.

Notes:

{1} Please read, To Hear The Voice Of God at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/hear-voice-god .

{2} God willing, the next two articles will be about divine guidance.

{3} Used in the proper traditional sensible sense, denoting all people, male and female. I could not care less about being politically correct.

{4} These words are purposely broken apart to avoid unwanted advertisements, and so throughout the article as needed.

{5} Please see my Marriage Pages at https://oasisofhope.neocities.org/ma00.html .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by May 15, 2018 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M496 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates and adding “(The Existing One)” to readily express the meaning of His Name without making repeated explanations in articles. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.

For list of more articles please see Holy Bible Treasures at http://holybibletreasures.sapphirestreams.com/ .


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We must follow Christ and love and be as he did, serve as he did for by these actions will others recognize the Spirit of God within us. Read your post brings to mind the movie: War Room. In this movie an elderly lady inspired and taught a young couple who were having marital problems how too place their problems at the feet of Christ. They created a space in their home (the war room) that they use for prayer. First the wife started praying in it, then the daughter joined and the husband. A completely transformation happened in that family and marriage improved.

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