Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” — Acts 9:13-14
This verse is the response of Ananias after God told him to go and pray for Saul to receive his sight. Up until this point, Saul had done nothing but persecute Christians. Even though God Himself was telling Ananias what to do, it was hard for him to believe that Saul had truly converted. It is often difficult for us to believe that God can truly save the ungodly.
While on vacation last week, I watched The Wolf of Wall Street. I enjoy messing around with investing in the financial world, but this movie takes it to a whole new level. I started watching it when it came out, but after about a dozen f-bombs in the first few minutes, I knew I couldn’t watch it. I watched an edited version that came on television. The only price to pay was enduring the commercials. The movie is pure debauchery from beginning to end. It is supposedly the real-life memoir of Jordan Belfort, who became extremely wealthy being a less-than-honest stock broker. The richer he got, the more sinful and indulgent he became.
The only reason I admit that I watched such filth (It was pretty bad . . . even edited for tv) is because as soon as I went to sleep, it was like a continuation of the movie in my dreams. I was following Jordan walking down a street. At the height of his sinfulness, I saw the power of God descend from Heaven and convict him. He hit his knees right then and there and began to repent of his sinful life. As I watched, I began to cry. I was in the presence of God myself. I recognized that I was dreaming and said, “God, I know I’m dreaming, but can I stay here for a bit longer?” My attention focused back on Jordan. As I watched him just bask in the presence of the Lord, I began to say over and over, “He can save anybody! He can save anybody!” Eventually, I woke up.
In 2022, I want to believe that. I want to tell people who are “too far gone” about Him. I want to invite them to receive the forgiveness that the Lord offers. I want to pray that His convicting power and presence will be all around. I want to pray with people and see His power descend on them so much that we both just uncontrollably weep in His presence. I enjoyed His presence that night in my dream as much as I enjoyed anything in 2021. The presence was sparked by seeing with my own eyes the dead come alive.
Lord, we have become such a selfish, pleasure-seeking society. I know plenty of people that you have put in my path that, on the surface, I think, “there is no way that they will ever repent and follow the Lord.” If nothing else, You are teaching me this morning that You can save anybody. May those who truly follow You be as bold as they have ever been in 2022. Help us to proclaim the Name above all Names . . . the Name by which we all must be saved. Amen
Thank you all for reading. I am praying for you this morning.
Have a blessed 2022!