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When you open to Acts 9 (today’s Bible reading), you’ll probably see a heading with something about The Damascus Road or The Conversion of Saul. While Saul’s conversion is a central point in the Book of Acts, and specifically this chapter, there is more here. Even regarding Saul’s conversion, there is an instrumental piece that some may overlook.

Ananias lives in Damascus and when Saul is brought into town, God tells Ananias in a vision that he is to seek out Saul — an infamous persecutor of Christians — and pray for him to recover his eyesight. Ananias reminds God who Saul is and what he has been doing to Believers. Then God reveals to Ananias that Saul is going to reach out to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites.

Now, up to this point, only Jews (Acts 2) and Samaritans (Acts 8) have responded to the Gospel and received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is an incredible thing, and would be the ultimate fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32, which began in Acts 2; anyone who called on the Name of God would be saved. Even the Gentiles.

But before this can happen, Ananias has a decision to make. God is calling him to seek out a man who is known to imprison believers. (Acts 9:13-14) Coming into Saul’s presence could mean Ananias’ death. What would he do?

I believe with all that I am that if Ananias had said, “No”, God would have raised up someone else to pray for Saul. But God called Ananias. And because Ananias said, “Yes”, God used him to save Saul so the Gospel could be taken “to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

When Ananias said “Yes”, he got to participate. And if he had said, “No”, he would have missed out on the unveiling of the mystery of the ages (Colossians 1:24–29)

Application

Look anywhere in the Bible and you’ll see that whenever God speaks, there is a response. From “Let there be light” to “Go find Saul”, there’s always a response. It’s in the nature of creation to respond to its Creator. To fail to respond is to respond.

God speaks today, sometimes in visions and dreams, sometimes through other believers, sometimes through our circumstances, but mostly through His Word. And when God speaks to us, we have a choice in how we will respond.

What has God told you to do? How has God been tugging at your heart? How will you respond? Will you say “No” and miss out on being used by Him? Or will you say “Yes” and get to participate in something wonderful?

Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life.
Quit playing the field.
Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out.
The fun and games are over.
Get serious, really serious.
Get down on your knees before the Master;
it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.
James 4:8–10 (The Message)

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