8. God Empowers Us to Love Our Enemies by Helping Us See His Vision for Redemption
“The Lord said to [Ananias], ‘Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judah for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus. For behold, he is praying, and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in, and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight.”
But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he did to your saints at Jerusalem. Here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.’
But the Lord said to him, ‘Go your way, for he is my chosen vessel to bear my name before the nations and kings, and the children of Israel.’” Acts 9:11-15
Ananias heard God’s call clearly: go to your enemy, Saul, a brutal persecutor of Christians, and lay hands on him. Goodness, that directive appeared perilous! Ananias, a devout Christian, was being sent straight to the feet of a man widely known for persecuting and killing Christians. Talk about enemies!
We serve a God who knows the power of turning enemies into vessels for the gospel. When God offers a slice of that wisdom to further his kingdom, awe-inspiring changes happen in situations. In the case of Ananias and Saul – who became known as Paul – enemies land on the same team. In this case, God used a vision to empower Ananias and, eventually, Paul.
Who might God be calling you to go and partner with for the gospel? Don’t count anyone past redemption. Pray God would give you a vision to see how the one who frustrates you might some day partner with you for God’s glory.