F.R.O.G. – Fully Rely on God (Acts 9)

In Acts 9 we find the Commission/Conversion of Saul of Tarsus. On his way to Damascus, the light flashes, the voice booms, and Saul falls to the ground. He asks, “Who are you, Lord?” Jesus answers, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.” As Saul got to his feet he realized he was blind. Notice the difference in Saul between 9:1-2 (confident and able) and 9:8-9 (blind, led by the hand, and totally dependent). We often have to be completely humbled and helpless before we are ready to fully rely on God. Even though Saul does not yet realize it he is relying for direction and healing on the very one he persecutes. [I think it is interesting to note that Jesus asks Saul, “why do you persecute me?” when Saul had never met Jesus or harmed him. To harm the church is to harm Christ. If more people treated the church and their brothers and sisters that way we would have far fewer problems in the church].

In Damascus Jesus speaks to another man, a disciple named Ananias. He is told to go and restore the sight of this well known persecutor of the church, Saul of Tarsus. Ananias’ response is understandably hesitant. But Jesus reassures him, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (9:15-16). Ananias found himself in a position of comfort and security. He could have stayed home and avoided Saul and potential persecution but that would not have involved relying on God. The next verse, “Then Ananias went to the house and entered it.” He relied on God even if it meant he had to risk something, even if it meant he had to stick his neck out or potentially “take one for the team.”

The problem today is we don’t define “fully relying on God” the same way they did. We like the last three words but often leave out the first. We might rely on God when it comes to our prayer life but not when it comes to out business ethics. We might rely on God when it comes to our entertainment choices but not when it comes to our sexuality. We might rely on God when it comes to studying our Bibles but not when it comes to putting into practice what we have read. We might rely on God when it comes to our job but not when it comes to our retirement. Hands on when I am sick but hands off when I am well. What does it take to fully rely on God? It takes risking it all. It takes giving up on your own ability and trusting his. It takes removing all obstacles or barriers that keep God out of different areas of our life and letting him mold and shape everything. We don’t have to understand it all first. Saul certainly didn’t understand the fullness of who this voice was and yet he had to trust him. Ananias trusted God because he did know who Christ was and he trusted the call.

Reliance requires trust. Before you can fully rely on God you have to fully trust him. If you don’t trust God be careful or else you may find yourself blind, humbled and your life torn apart. If that happens to you don’t think it a bad thing, like Saul it might just be the best thing that ever happens to you. What is keeping you from fully relying on God?

9 Responses to F.R.O.G. – Fully Rely on God (Acts 9)

  1. Yeah, I agree with what you’ve shared here. I’ve struggled with trusting God with every area of my life over the years. I think that stemmed from having an earthly dad that I could not trust at all and that hurt me terribly. I had to learn to separate my earthly dad from my heavenly dad. I’m still learning…

  2. milton coleman says:

    I really appreciate what you said about risking it all. God really been driving this point home to me. Everytime I think I got it He shows me another area I haven’t released to Him. thanks for letting God use in this.

  3. Joe Haskins says:

    Hey I really enjoyed this. I am 23 years of age now and am working toward my degree in Bible and youth ministry. I have to do a devotion for a youth gathering for my county this weekend and its my first time so a little nervous but this really helped and broke it down very well. Thank you for this wonderful message and Keep up the work and God Bless

    • mattdabbs says:

      Hi Joe! Glad it was helpful. If you check through the links at the top of the blog there are tons of bible studies and lessons you are welcome to teach from. God bless

  4. graceinc says:

    Hi – I’ve decided to blog about God’s Grace – and link to you at the same time… Hope things are going well with you. I find these accronyms funny but memorable – perhaps it will help others…

    I totally agree that to “fully” rely on God is the hardest thing of all – so often we try to do stuff by ourselves and ask God to bless it which isn’t the same at all!

    Michelle

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  6. Muriel says:

    Hi Matt, I’m struggling to rely completely on God. If everthing is going well then I dont think of Him but when the going gets tough then I think about Him and I start spending time with him. I believe He led me to this message and I’m so grateful. Please stay usable in God’s hands to transfer His message to people like me. I love God but I don’t want to obey and trust Him completely.

    Muriel

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