We continue our journey in Acts 22 as Paul was arrested because of preaching the gospel. He is being viciously attacked by the religious leaders and now he asks to speak to the religious leaders himself and we pick up his testimony from where he was struck down by a bright light and the Lord began to speak to him on the Damascus Road where to go and we pick up in verse 12.
Acts 22:12 A man named Ananias lived there. He was a godly man, deeply devoted to the law, and well regarded by all the Jews of Damascus. 13 He came and stood beside me and said, 'Brother Saul, regain your sight.' And that very moment I could see him!
We hear so much about what Paul did to expand the Kingdom of God including writing about two thirds of the New Testament but think about this, what if there were no Ananias. We don’t read much about Ananias but we know this, because of his obedience, Saul became converted to Christianity and soon became Paul.
We never know whom we will touch through our obedience but we know that as we obey the Holy Spirit, we will help change the world. The good news about how the Kingdom of God works is this; as we touch one and that one touches another (maybe thousands) we all get the same reward because reward is based on obedience. Paul wrote this later, one plants, one waters but Father God gives the increase/harvest. If Ananias only reached Saul through obedience, what a contribution he made to the Kingdom of Father God.
Notice this about Ananias, he was a Godly man (a man pursing the things of God) that was deeply devoted to the Word of God, and well thought of by the people in that region. The Word of Father God is so important in our lives; never live a day without pouring it into your Spirit.
Friends, our reputation is also important, the Bible says this truth in Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. The way we relate with others, the way we handle our families, the way we handle our finances are all a reflection on the family of God. We should strive to live honestly and with integrity with everyone so no one could say evil against us that would be true. Let them lie about us but never let something we could have prevented to be said about us that would negatively affect the Kingdom of Father God. Once we get saved, we represent Father God to everyone we meet. We are His children, His ambassadors to this people planet.
Not only did Ananias come in obedience but his obedience also allowed him to come with the power of the Holy Spirit and the Presence of the Lord. Ananias looked at Paul and said this, Paul regain your sight and Paul testified immediately I could see. Friends, catch these two truths: obedience releases miracles when spoken in faith and power.
Miracles never happen until people realize that our obedience and our words release the supernatural. Moses obeyed, spoke to the people and stretched out his rod and the sea parted. Joshua obeyed, spoke to the people, marched and the walls fell. On and on we could go showing that as we obey and speak, miracles take place. Jesus even said the secret to His ministry was hearing and doing and speaking what Father God told Him to.
We must realize God has no favorites but everyone who has been saved and washed in the Blood of Jesus has the ability to: 1. Hear the voice of the Holy Spirit; 2. Make a choice to fully obey His voice. The difference is that some of His children hear and obey, some hear and never obey while others never take the time to be in positon/His Presence long enough to hear His voice because their lives are so full of other voices. Friends, the key to walking in the supernatural is simply, hearing, obeying and speaking. Let’s all learn to live supernatural lives in 2015. Make hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit a priority in your life and watch yourself do things in His kingdom that you never thought possible.
Prayer Thoughts: Father God I repent for having so many voices in my life that have hindered your voice which is the voice of the Holy Spirit. Give me the wisdom and strength I need to make your voice my main priority in Jesus Name, Amen!
One truth I’ve always lived by is this; we don’t know what tomorrow holds but, if we are a child of Father God, we know who holds our tomorrow.
Biblical prophecy combined with today’s headlines remind us we are quickly approaching the end of time as we know it on planet earth. For us as children of God this is an exciting time because we know these two truths: 1. Father God will take care of us until He comes as long as we hear and obey His voice; 2. Eternity is going to be absolutely amazing and we should look forward to it, in fact the Bible says comfort one another with these words that Jesus is coming! Pressure will increase, times will become even more critical but supernatural peace and provision will be ours as we keep our minds on Father God and His Word.
I believe 2015 will be another year of challenges but also a year of great harvest and revival for the remnant church who sincerely desire and seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness (Matt. 6:33). We must pray, fast for our lost loved ones and the lost in our region and around the world like never before. If we will stay concerned about what concerns Father God then Father God will take care of what concerns us. His concern is a lost, sinful and dying humanity. His will is that NONE would perish but have everlasting life but we are His body and we must make reaching the lost a priority. Yes, I believe we will see even more incredible supernatural manifestations of the glory of God where miracles happen before our very eyes but the greatest miracle is the lost coming to Jesus.
Join us as we continue living the three fold cord in 2015, fasting/praying/giving so we can walk in the supernatural. January is our corporate fasting month as we all personally and corporately set aside the first-fruits of 2015 in seeking His Face. Our normal 21 days would begin January 4th and end on January 25th but I feel we need to cover the whole month with fasting so we want EVERY PERSON who is part of The Bridge Family to ask the Holy Spirit about the 21 days you are to give to the Lord in special prayer and fasting. This will allow more people to join us due to their personal working schedules and family times, etc.
Happy New Year and thanks for making 2014 a Success!
We continue our journey in the book of Acts, Paul had been arrested because of the religious people’s accusations and them trying to kill him. Now he asks to speak to the religious leaders himself.
Acts 22 1 "Brothers and esteemed fathers," Paul said, "listen to me as I offer my defense." 2 When they heard him speaking in their own language, the silence was even greater.
Notice Paul’s salutation, he did not call them enemies but humbled himself and called them esteemed. Then he began speaking in Aramaic which surprised them to the point of silence. Paul was not an unlearned follower of Jesus Christ but now they learned he was highly educated.
3 Then Paul said, "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today.
Even though he had esteemed them at the beginning, he now shares his educational and Jewish heritage which was probably greater than any of them who had accused him. He was saying I used to be like you, I used to hate Christians but something happened and I want to share it with you.
Paul was essentially sharing his testimony, which is something we all have that will help many whom the Holy Spirit leads us to. Yes, we need to have wisdom and knowledge about Biblical scriptures but it’s hard for people to dispute your personal testimony. This is who I was but look at me since I’ve given Jesus my heart.
Remember every time you share your testimony, it helps you to overcome what the enemy is trying to use against you. We overcome by the WORD of our TESTIMONY and the BLOOD of the LAMB.
4 And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison. 5 The high priest and the whole council of elders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the Christians from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished.
Paul was saying, you think you were zealous, then I was more so. I victimized everyone who said they followed Jesus, who said He was the way, the truth and the life. I threw those Christians in prison and not just men but women also. The elders and chief priests even wrote letters for me to persecute Christians all over our region. They gave me the authority to bring Christians from all over and put them in chains to be punished. Paul was saying, I was a bad dude, you just think you are bad but something happened that changed my life.
6 "As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'
Paul now began to dig deep into his testimony; he said, “I was on my way to Damascus around lunch to persecute some of the Christians, minding my own business, zealous for the law when all of a sudden something supernatural happened. The brightest light I have ever seen shone on me and it was so bright I fell to the ground. Then it got even weirder, I heard a voice calling my name twice asking me this: why are you persecuting me?”
Paul then says, “It gets every more supernatural when I asked this”: 8 "'Who are you, lord?' I asked. "And the voice replied, 'I am Jesus the Nazarene, the one you are persecuting.' 9 The people with me saw the light but didn't understand the voice speaking to me.
Paul continues, let me paraphrase, now boys I’m on the ground and a bright light is blinding me and then I hear a voice, it was spooky so I asked; Who are you Lord? I wasn’t ready for the response when the voice said I am Jesus the one you are opposing and persecuting. Those traveling with me saw the bright light, saw me fall, heard me speaking but didn’t not hear Him speaking to me.
I’m telling you this was a life changing experience. So it is with all of us, when we met Jesus it changed our lives and we need to do like Paul, we need to share our testimony to everyone we can.
Prayer Points: Father God in Jesus Name I ask you to give me the boldness and the power I need to share my testimony with everyone you put in my path, knowing it’s a divine appointment which could change their eternity.