We somehow mistakenly think our fate is in our own hands. If we just work hard enough we’ll achieve our dreams…a high paying job, esteemed among our peers, and honored by our employer. But when this doesn’t happen like we imagine…when work is instead pure drudgery and toil…and we’re left weary at the end of the day…what should we think? First, we need to remember that our lot in life is from God, (Job 31:2) and all wealth and honor come from Him, (I Chronicles 29:12) Secondly, the work we want to do may be far from what God actually wants for us. When we look at this verse, we see three attitudes we need to have…regardless of whether we have some dream job, or not. We are to maintain an attitude of acceptance, joy, and happiness whatever job we have. To bloom where we’re planted, and influence the people God brings across our path. To be honest with you, most of us will never have that dream job…but that doesn’t mean God’s not still using us for Kingdom work.
The Believers in Damascus had heard about Saul and his murderous threats against them. Ananias also knew Saul had traveled there with the authority from the Chief Priests to arrest them all. So you can imagine that Ananias had many excuses as to why he shouldn’t go and lay hands on this man…but God said, “Go!” And Ananias went. But somewhere between his house and the house where Saul was staying Ananias had a major heart adjustment. For when he greeted Saul, he called him Brother Saul. Brother meaning Saul had been accepted into the community of brothers and sisters in the Lord.
God is our only reliable stronghold in the world today. He is the fortress we can retreat to when fear over takes us. He is our rescuer when wickedness and oppression take the very breath from us. For God is the only rock we can put our absolute trust in…the only refuge we can run to for safety.
The Apostle Paul is quoting Deuteronomy 32:35 urging others not to seek justice themselves out of anger or spite. For Proverbs 20:22 tells us, “Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the Lord, and He will deliver you.” But when we’re angry and frustrated, and think no one has our back…we tend to react badly. It’s at that point that we need to take a deep breath and remember that the Lord tells us that He will defend us. (Jeremiah 51:36)
This verse tells us that even in the midst of suffering…God’s love shines forth and His favor surrounds us as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12) Circumstances can still be dark around us, but people will notice something different…a light shining forth from us, as we steadfastly put our faith and trust in God. Situations may not change, for we live in a broken world…but what can change is our attitude and reaction to them.
Jesus used His own saliva several times in the Bible to heal. In John 9:6 it says, “Having said this, He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.” In Mark 8:23 it says, “He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When He had spit on the man’s eyes and put His hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’ ” So why did Jesus do this very primal act? We know that Jesus was fully man but also fully God…and within His saliva was His DNA. DNA that held His chromosomes…His genetic information. But the spit Jesus smeared on these men held something much more powerful… it held within it the very essence of God.
Bread has been a staple of the human diet for centuries…it’s simple, filling, and easy to obtain. The Word is a lot like bread. In John 6:32-33 it says, “Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Jesus is the bread of life, and grasping ahold of His Word…being self-disciple in your study of it…will enable you to cherish and hide it deep in your heart. The Word is a lot like bread, it’s simple…just open the book. It’s filling…satisfying your very soul. And it’s easy to obtain…you can do it yourself.