Christian Devotions
By Ross Freeman

Keep Your Eyes Open

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.

"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"

"Yes, Lord," he answered.

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. 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 saints 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 carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, (Acts 9:1-18 NIV)

Here Saul was so on fire for God, wanting to do the things of God, but was actually doing things in his own strength, consequently opposing Christ, therefore persecuting the people and ultimately persecuting Jesus.

So Jesus had to strongly intervene saying, “I have been trying to guide you to do the things my way for some time, but your zealousness has stopped you from hearing me. Now listen, I will tell you what to do and from now on stop doing it your way. I will guide you for I have chosen you to spread my word to all people, not to persecute them.”

His blindness was made real to him in a physical way. The Lord then used one of His disciples (or a Christian) to do His work in Saul, thereby letting Saul know that He works through men. It is not man who does the work but God working through man by the power of the Holy Ghost.

That is what happened to Paul when Ananias had prayed for him. His sight was restored and he was baptized in the Holy Ghost. His eyes on self had been closed, and his eyes on Christ had been opened, and he never took his eyes off Him again. Paul became one of the greatest leaders for Jesus that ever lived.

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