In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
Over lunch, I was whining to a good friend about my leadership responsibility as a gatekeeper. He said something I’ve been thinking about ever since: “Why don’t you be a gate opener instead?”
We meet Ananias in Acts 9, and Ananias has one job: to open the gate for Saul of Tarsus. Instinctively, he knows that locking the gate is the prudent thing to do. Saul is on his way to Damascus to carry out his “murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples” (v. 1).
Ananias lives in Damascus and is a disciple! I would advise him to bar the door.
But when Jesus speaks to Ananias in a vision, Ananias answers, “Yes, Lord.”
To be obedient, he must close the door on his version of what is logical and safe, and open the door to the vision Jesus has for Saul.
I wonder how often, based on my preconceptions or fear, I’ve swung the gate closed on God’s vision for someone. Where did Ananias’s courage come from? He is well acquainted with the voice of Jesus.
Lord Jesus, what vision of the good things you have in mind for those around us would we see if our ears were more tuned to your voice? We are listening. And, like Ananias, our answer is yes.
Prayer Journal Reflections
Reflect on the vision of the church in Canada and the United States.
District Superintendent, Washington Pacific