Summary: To show the important value of being obedient.
THE WINNING RESULTS OF AN OBEDIENT SERVANT
There is a story told about King Henry III growing tired of court life and the pressures of being the king, so he applied to a monastery to be accepted for a life of contemplation. His religious superior said to him, “Your Majesty, do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? Are you aware that it will be hard for you because you have been a king for so long and is not used to taking orders.”
Then the king replied, “I understand. As for the rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.” Then his superior suggested to him, “go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where the Lord God has placed you.” And King Henry III went back to the throne with renewed vigor.
-Illustration by SermonCentral.com
As we hear this story of King Henry III we hear the spiritual heart of the one that would have been his superior. He told him to go back to the place in which God had placed him. In today’s text, Ananias to is found realizing the place in which the Lord had called him. And through his act of obedience we will see wonderful results.
Our last lesson showed us what could happen when we allow our fears to interfere with our will to obey the Lord. Saul had just been stopped on the Damascus Road by Jesus Christ Himself. His pride, gone, his eyesight, gone, and he was unsure of what would happen to him once he entered Damascus. But while he was yet dealing with his fears and thoughts, the Lord was showing him in a vision, that He was preparing a disciple by the name of Ananias to come to him and to lay his hand upon him so that he may receive his sight. It was for this mission that the Lord had chosen Ananias, but instead, Ananias for fear of the deeds that Saul was known for, was reluctant to go ahead with the mission. The one thing in this lesson that we should be extremely happy about is that the Lord is very patient with us. He could had forced His will upon Ananias, but that would have canceled out man’s free moral agency. He even could have changed messengers, but then He would have had to change the vision that He gave Saul. That could have been disastrous because it would’ve allowed Saul to doubt the vision he had received. So with His love He listened to Ananias’ concern, then with His mercy He instructed Ananias to go to Saul because he was His chosen vessel.
In this lesson we will see the results of Ananias’ obedience. Saul had been in Damascus three days without sight and the text says that he neither ate nor drank anything. It appeared that his only desire was to pray and as he was praying he saw a vision of a man named Ananias and he was coming to lay his hands upon him. Verse 17 picks up with Ananias following the Lords instructions and he is now arriving at the house of Judas with a willing heart to do the Lord’s will.
So let us take a look at the winning results of this obedient servant.
First of all in verses 17 and 18...
1. WE SEE THE WINNING RESULTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKING (vv. 17,18)
“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. 18. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales; and he received sight, and arose, and was baptized.”
First of all we see the Holy Spirit doing His work through Ananias. Four things happened to Saul that day. He received the right hand of fellowship because Ananias called him “brother”, his sight was restored, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and was baptized. Ananias after hearing that Saul was a chosen vessel unto the Lord and how he was to bear the Lords name before the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel, had no problem facing the one that he at one time feared. He being motivated by the Holy Spirit is now in the presence of the once feared persecutor of the faith. With his fears behind him, he is now proceeding with the Lord’s words fresh on his mind. He is standing before Saul and with holy boldness is telling him that the Lord that appeared to him on the Damascus road had sent him so that he may lay his hands upon him to receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.