Heart of Ananais

Hearts of Ananias

                                 I Want to Have a Heart like a Man Named Ananias 

Ananias was a popular name in the days of the New Testament, but three specific men are found in its pages. I want to mention each of them in order to clarify why I want to have a heart like one of these men. 

One of the Ananias in scripture was a Jewish High Priest in Jerusalem. He was hated by many of the Jewish people during his life because he was known to be ruthless and corrupt. This man surely had a distorted and selfish heart—maybe a religious heart full of pride and arrogance. Needless to say, this is definitely NOT the kind of heart that I want to align with. 

A second man in scripture named Ananias was a married man whose wife was named Sapphira. They were wealthy members of the Acts church. One of the reasons why the Acts church was doing so well during this recorded season was that they chose to be united and live with one purpose: to give from their personal provisions to support communal living as a body of believers.

You may already know this story of Ananias and Sapphira as it is quite a shocker. They both ended up dropping dead due to lying. Wow, this seemed to be such a severe consequence, but we must take note that the lie was due to the condition of their hearts. Basically, they sinned against the Holy Spirit as they had pride about their giving. They pursued self-imposed honor instead of honesty to God and His people. So, NO, I don’t want this deceptive condition to stain the recesses of my heart. 

But the third man, named Ananias, is a hero to me. This man was a lover of God and walked in obedience and bravery. I long to have a heart like this, Ananias. Let’s read the passage in Acts 9  as it reveals the why of my admiration. I am going to take the liberty to underscore some of the key sentences that demonstrate my amazement concerning Ananias.

Acts 9:1-19  Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains. As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.

And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink. 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.

Often when we read this passage, our concentration is on Saul, the soon-to-be Paul, as this is the point of his sudden conversion. But when you re-read it with the wonder of Ananias, maybe you will see the same words I see. Words like, To kill… Arrest… Chains… A Believer… The Lord Spoke… Yes, Lord… But Lord… I’ve Heard… Terrible Things… Go… Went… Found… Laid his Hands… Brother… Sent … Regain… Filled… Baptized…

Now, these are some powerful words. To me, these words show how Ananias would have to have a heart for God. A brave heart, an obedient heart, and a trust and faith in His Lord. Ananias knew how dangerous Saul was. He knew Saul was working his way to his town. He knew his friends and family were in direct danger of persecution as Saul’s reputation had preceded him. But despite it all, Ananias went. He not only obeyed the call to go, but he aligned with the Holy Spirit and moved in the call to see Saul as his brother and baptize him, lay hands on him for his healing, and help him regain his strength. This Saul, this soon-to-be Paul, would be converted so he could walk in authority. Paul would then be commissioned to author two-thirds of the New Testament. The words we now hold in our hands, my friend Ananias played a part in. Ananias was a believer in Jesus and the kind of man that the Lord could put His trust in. God gave him the directive and he went boldly to this dangerous man named Saul. It would be like us going to the head of Hamas and laying our hands on him—now, that would take some guts. So, as you go on with your day, enjoy the power and wonder of a heart like this Jesus lover named Ananias. 


Melissa Norris

Sanctioned Love

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