Monday, March 31, 2008

Acts: Ananias and Visions (9:10-19)

There is a vast amount of ordinary in our relationship with God. Most of the time God’s will is discovered with regular Bible study and lived by applying the principles learned to life’s decisions. But that does not rule out the extraordinary in a walk with God. The Bible recounts multiple instances of God asking individuals to do strange, difficult, or impossible tasks for His glory.
Sometimes it is not just what God asks, but how He asks, that challenges our faith. Ananias got both. God appeared to him in a vision and asked him to go help a known persecutor of believers.

Mystical experiences are difficult to deal with because they are so personal, and hard to evaluate. Just think of all the people throughout history who have had “visions from God.” Joseph Smith and Muhammad immediately spring to mind. This sort of track record leads some to declare that God does not deal with people this way anymore.

The Bible is full of visions and dreams from God, but they didn’t have the full scriptural revelation back then either. If God does decide step outside of the box we have built for Him to operate in (and He is God after all) there is one thing that can be known for sure: He will not contradict what He has said before. Therefore, all mystical experiences will match up with what Scripture says. They will never contradict what God has already revealed.

But forget mystical visions and such. What has God asked of you that you are avoiding out of fear? Have you got any openly hostile anti-Christians in your life? As if it isn’t hard enough sharing our daily walk with people who are merely indifferent to the Gospel. Are you useful?

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