“When the Lord calls our name, we must hear and respond with hearts ready to obey.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 14, 2021
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” Acts 9:10, ESV
When the Lord speaks, how do you respond? I say “when” rather than “if,” for at the very heart of our faith lies the wonder of God’s self-revealing love. He wants to be known and heard, to live in restored relationship with his beloved creation. And so he speaks. He speaks creation into being and by his words invites us to join him in his mission of healing and restoration. The Lord is always speaking. Are we listening?
Ananias is remembered in the church for both his attentiveness and his obedience to the voice of the Lord. We are told the Lord simply utters his name in a vision. At this moment, Ananias could have dismissed this as his mind playing tricks on him, or simply refused to respond when called upon. Yet as a faithful servant, all it takes is his name being called for him to stand aright and say, “Here I am, Lord” (Acts 9:10). Are you and I willing and able to do the same? Can we too realize that the Lord is not only there to comfort and care for us, but may also long to send us out on mission? When he calls our name, we must hear and respond with hearts ready to obey.
For us today, Ananias is not only an inspiration in his attentiveness to the Lord’s voice, but is also a model for obedience in the face of adversity. As he listened, he quickly realized the words from the Lord were difficult to hear, and even harder to obey. The Lord wanted him to visit…Saul of Tarsus?! Surely this was a figment of his imagination. He couldn’t have possibly heard right! And here we discover another key truth: it is not a lack of faith or failure to trust God when we bring our questions to him. Immediately Ananias responds, saying, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name” (Acts 9:13-14). These are real and valid concerns, and yet when the Lord responds with “Go” (Acts 9:15), Ananias chooses to believe the Lord is trustworthy and true, even in the face of his fears and doubts.
The Lord may be asking you to do a hard thing, one that raises flags of caution in your heart and mind. Seek counsel from trusted women and men in your life, asking them to help you discern and hear the Lord’s guidance in this season, yet do not assume you have misheard his voice simply because it is difficult or daunting. Follow where he leads, trusting that he will be with you every step of the way!
Father, help us to hear your voice and follow as you lead, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Take time today in prayer to say to the Lord, “Here I am,” then wait and listen for his guiding voice.
Fernando Ortega: Gloria
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