Friday, December 8, 2017

You Volunteered Me For What?

My wife and I often give each other a hard time about volunteering each other for different tasks. An event at church needs someone to cook, my wife can do that! Somebody needs musical entertainment, Chris can do that. Finding out you've been volunteered for something can be a little annoying, but primarily because we don't ask each other half the time. We know what the other will be willing to do and are comfortable volunteering each other, and we are almost always right. Almost always.

Jesus did that same thing to a man named Ananias in Acts chapter 9.  After Jesus confronted Saul on the road to Damascus for persecuting his people, Jesus appeared to Ananias and told him about Saul. Jesus instructed Ananias to go to Saul and added, "In a vision, he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him so he may regain his sight" (Acts 9:12, HCSB). Right then is when Ananias must have had his you-volunteered-me-for-what?-moment.  Jesus didn't ask Ananias to go to Saul. He just told Ananias that Saul was already expecting him.

Ananias replied, "Lord, I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name" (Acts 9:13-14, HCSB).  Ananias knew exactly who Saul was and what he had done; he knew the dangers for a believer who went anywhere near Saul.  But in the end, Ananias went to Saul, restored his sight and helped Saul begin his transformation into one of the greatest Christian missionaries of all time as well as the author of half of the New Testament.

How much does this say about Ananias? Jesus vouched for Ananias, volunteered him, knew he would be willing to go before Ananias was ever asked, wagered (depending on how you look at God's foreknowledge) on Ananias' obedience. Can God do that with us? Are we faithful enough that Jesus would be able to vouch for us before we are ever told about the mission? Could he safely place his reputation in our hands and know that we will be faithful to answer his call? Or does our faithfulness depend on how dangerous, public or difficult the task is? How faithful are we? Personally, I want to be an Ananias.

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