READ: Acts 9:1-19 (esp., v17-19)
- The submission runs two ways in this text. First, Ananias must submit to God’s instructions. With persuasion from God, Ananias arrived at Straight Street in Damascus. There, he shared the rest of the story with Saul. Saul, too, needed to submit. Hanging out in Damascus on Straight Street was merely a geographical location. His heart had to be stirred to pledge his allegiance to the One he had previously rejected.
- Apparantly the three days had been time enough for him to ponder the significance of encountering God on the road and hearing from Jesus. He was ready to take the next steps as soon as he knew what they were. That’s the beauty of a submissive spirit. It doesn’t argue over the specifics. It’s a “whatever is needed” spirit. As soon as he heard the instructions, he obeyed.
- That is as it should be with us. Saul had pondered the resurrected Jesus. Later, he would spend years continuing that pondering. But, for now, it was sufficient to simply submit. Ananias called for him to be dipped fully in water. So he was. Paul would later capture that spirit with statements like, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Jesus was fully submissive to the Father. When we are submissive to Christ, we are simply imitating the Son and modeling what others should do.
- What keeps you from being obediently submissive to Jesus?
- Why are we so reluctant to let go of our previous experiences to embrace what God says?
- How have you tried to encourage the reluctant to respond? Did it work?
PRAY: Pray for the courage to speak directly. Pray that your listeners are moved to act. Commit yourself to a life of submissive obedience.