This past week, I finished editing the revisions on my second book I ever wrote, I Wrote This Book on Purpose . . . so You Can Know Yours (to be released in time for Christmas 2018). This expanded edition will include seven PurposeCoach sessions not in the 1997 version. In one of those sessions, I discussed the importance of asking good questions in order to find good answers. That made me think of this week's verse, "The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying" (Acts 9:11).
The Lord gave this command to a man named Ananias and the man who was praying was Saul, who later became known as Paul. Let's examine this "go and" encounter that both men had with the Lord to see what we can learn and apply to our lives.
The Lord and Ananias went back and forth about this assignment:
"In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name" (Acts 9:12-16).
Ananias did not have enough information after God's command, so in essence, he ashed a question for clarification: "Are you sure, Lord? You want me to go? I have heard that this Saul is a dangerous man!" The Lord let Ananias know the purpose He had for Saul, which gave Ananias confidence for his own safety. Notice that the Lord had shown Saul a man was going to pray and heal him from his blindness.
What can we learn from these few verses?
- The Lord was not offended when Ananias asked for clarification.
- While both men had a supernatural encounter with God, neither one of them could be complete or obedient without the help of the other.
- Saul was praying and waiting for Ananias to come and set him free.
- Ananias was given the specifics of where Saul was, but he didn't know who he was, so he had to ask for him by name.
There are people who are waiting for you to fulfill your purpose. They cannot move on because God has created a partnership between their need and what you have to meet that need. Your procrastination of hesitation causes them to continue in their situation because you have the key to open their locked door of opportunity, freedom, or understanding. Those people waiting may be across the street, across your town, or across the globe. Your job is to find them. God will give you the specifics but you must "go and ask" for the opportunity that God has assigned you.
That means you have to have faith that you have heard from the Lord. Then you have to get up and go, trusting it will be as God described when you get there. There may be some perceived danger in what you are called to do, which doesn't disqualify what you heard, for God knows more about the circumstances than you do. That only adds to the faith element you need to succeed.
I encourage you to ask all the questions you need about what you are to do, but by all means get busy doing it. People's lives hang in the balance, so you must write your book, make your trips, start your business, or do whatever else you need so you can "go and ask" for the opportunity for which you have prepared. When you go and come back, I promise you will have a testimony of how God used you as His agent to set someone free who knows you are coming, but just doesn't know when. Have a blessed week.
KENYA NEEDS: This has been the slowest season of giving to my ministry since 2014 and the needs in Kenya, as well as my own, are great. Please give a gift to my work, either by using PayPal on my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you and God bless you!