Summary: To teach the believer that we should not allow a persons reputation to get in the way of doing what the Lord desires of us.
DEALING WITH YOUR FEARS
My brothers and sisters when you turn on your television, you will find yourself watching a variety of programs. We have Religious programs; Discovery programs; History programs. We have movies, soups and games programs. All are there because of the different taste that the TV viewers have. Now we should know that too many hours in front of the TV can rob you of your study time for Sunday School research and family devotion. Whether we like it or not TV has evolved into something that is addictive in our lives. You can take a poll, and discover the ages and eras in which our congregation was reared, simply by speaking of a certain TV program or commercial. For example if I would say “You’ll wonder were the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.” Or if I would bring up Rin Tin Tin, Sky King, or the Zane Grey Theater there would a group that can identify, if Roy Rogers or Cisco Kid there is another, if I mention Ozzie and Harriet or Father Knows Best another group would raise there hands. And if I bring in The Jefferson, or Good times most likely I would get three different groups. But TV programs today are entirely different then when many of these programs were viewed. We should note that there is a lot more profanity, blood shed and sex being shown. You can even turn to the Health Channel and watch a doctor perform surgery. But the popular shows on TV today are the reality shows. There’ American Idol, and Home Make-over, the Apprentice and The Nanny just to name a few. But there is one that is really related to the subject and that is Fear Factor. Fear Factor is a program that dares it’s contestants to deal with known and unknown fears. They eat worms and bugs, they go into snake pits and they try anything that could be a person’ fear. And the person that can push themselves pass their fears by doing the most or spending more time with there fears, usually end up being the winner.
As we look at this text we see two versions of fear. The first being in Saul. Who is now blind and vulnerable and is not sure of what he is to face when he gets to Damascus. The second is a disciple named Anani’as. Who is called on to go to this man named Saul. He too is not certain of what he is to face when he see this man named Saul, and although the Lord had given him his instructions, he simply have a fear that is being fed by the things that he had heard.
In the last lesson we talked about The Conversion Of A Persecutor. There we found Saul getting letters from the High Priest allowing him to go down to Damascus to again intimidate and apprehend yet more followers of the Way. But something happened on the road to Damascus that would change Saul forever. He met the very One that he had been persecuting, Jesus Christ, The Righteous Lamb of God. It was on this road that his life would change from an arrogant, murdering keeper of the law, to the making of a powerful champion for Jesus Christ. It was also on this road that he for the first time in verse 6 will call Jesus Lord (Adonai). I tell you the man’ life was changed forever.
In this lesson we see Saul being picked up from the ground, and when he opened his eyes, he discovered that he could see no man. So they took this once proud determined Pharisee by the hand and led him like a child into Damascus. And for three days he was blind and did not eat nor drink anything. In fact verse 11 lets us know that he was spending much of his time in prayer. The New Living Translation says that the Lord said “he is praying to me right now.” But Saul is not the central focal point of this lesson. That honor belongs to Ananias. While the Lord is working on Saul. We find one of the Lord’s disciples needing a little work. Ananias is a Disciple with a fear. He must have misunderstood the Lord when He told him that Saul was praying to him. Maybe he thought that the Lord said that he was preying [p-r-e-y-i-n-g] on Him. Evidently, Ananias believed everything that he had heard about Saul. And he had every good reason to believe it because most of it was true. But Ananias had the fault that many Christians have today. They believe in what they hear more then they believe what our Sovereign God is telling us. Yes, Saul persecuted the Christians. Yes, he intimidated them and put them in prison. He even consented to have Stephen stoned. But we should realize that we should not fear them who can destroy the body, but we should learn to fear the One who can destroy both body and soul (Matt. 10:28).