They knew the voice...would you?
Acts, 33. Acts 9.10-19
Saul had been in hot pursuit of Christians who were fleeing the persecution in Jerusalem. He went, full of authority and fury, to arrest them and bring them back to prison, but his journey was interrupted as he traveled along the Damascus Road. Blinded by a bright light, he fell to the ground, and heard a voice say to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
. . . and then the Lord told him to get up and go into town and he would be told the next steps. So, Saul's men led him into Damascus, where we left him. . . in darkness. He neither eats nor drinks.
Do you know the Lord's voice? I mean . . . would you know if the Lord spoke to you? Would you recognize his voice? Somehow Saul did.
And then there's this other guy, who was already in Damascus, ahead of Saul's arrival. Notice his response to the voice he heard.
"Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord!” he replied.
The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”
“But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”
But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength. Acts 9.10-19
Three days Saul waited. . . and during that time, God clearly spoke to him, showing him what he was going to suffer 'for the Name'. Was he wrestling with God, laying down his death grip of Judaism, plus or minus the Messiah who had come? Was he coming to terms with the notion that Yeshua was the One he had waited for, even though he didn't come as a conquering king, overthrowing the harsh tyranny of Rome?
Meanwhile, God does not disappoint, but moves Ananias to where Saul is--a house on the street called, "Straight,"--to pray for him. [Straight Street in ancient Damascus is pictured above] Notice please that Ananias is unafraid to tell God his concerns about going to this terrorist Saul! God does not get angry or impatient with Ananias, but instead allays his fear.
So after questioning God some, Ananias does as he is instructed. I find it so incredible that God announced His plans for Saul 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." Think of it - to this point, the Gospel has only gone to the Jews, but God has other plans.
How can we ever doubt that God has a plan?! Even when his ways are difficult to fathom, he has a plan. Even when it takes longer than we think, or the way rougher than we could imagine, God has a plan. Ananias goes to Saul and prays for him--scales fall from Saul's eyes so that, no longer in darkness, he accepts the Light of the World. . . eyesight restored. Beautiful.
His life is now set straight on the street called "Straight." Hmmm, yes.
Perhaps you have never really listened for his voice . . . just now, perhaps you would say to God, "Speak to Me", Kari Jobe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5kKQGbI0PU
Oh, let's listen~