Journal Acts 22 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And one Ananias, a devout man (according to the law), well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there (in Damascus), came to me, and standing by me said to me, “Brother Saul, receive your sight.” And at very hour I received my sight and saw him (Ananias).
And (Ananias) said, “The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. And now, why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” Acts 22:12-16
“But on the next day, desiring to know the real reason why (Paul) was being accused by the Jews, (the Centurion) unbound (Paul) and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them.” Acts 22:30
Observation: Curiosity. Should be insatiable when it comes to the Scriptures. Not in a challenging the Word of God sort of way, but “what does this mean? Why? What is the “real reason” (just like the Centurion asked).
Analysis: There are times I am suspicious of curiosity. I think that most curiosity I encounter will lead someone down the wrong path. I address it with anguish and fear.
Oh, not my curiosity. My curiosity is as pure as the driven snow; I am disciplined, righteous, educated, mature…. right. Thing is, curiosity is not a bad thing, but I have to acknowledge—it can bite.
It is one of the main reasons to “study to show (myself) approved … rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Tim 2:15)
Do I think that Ananias kept thinking about Jesus’ command to go to Straight Street in Damascus, even though Jesus gave him explicit instructions? “I wonder what the real reason is… I don’t want to deal with this murderer…” and then, he laid hands on Paul to regain his sight.
What about the Centurion? “This is stranger than I could ever imagine … Those priests are nutty when times are normal, but all of this for what? And this guy claims to be a Roman Citizen? I gotta know…”
I really would like a day where someone comes up and asks, “Please, sir: Explain to me about the Hope that is evident in you…” But that isn’t the way described in the Bible. What is predominant, though, is the phrase “Declare the Kingdom of God” or “Preach the Gospel.” The closest so far (that I can think of) is writing like this and declaring the Gospel (and what I learn of the Gospel) to my wife daily (#1 disciple).
I think the reason why many don’t do it this way, is because they are not curious; curious about the Scriptures, about sound doctrine. Maybe this sounds like chains and not freedom? Another reason is maybe, just maybe, conviction of sin would be found between the pages of the Bible.
Maybe, then, I am just fine not asking the questions that will know Him more… too, bad.
Prayer: Lord, I can imagine myself in Ananias. You know that it has happened, except I stopped and argued with you in my mind, until I convinced myself I was imagining things. How I wish I would have dropped what I was doing and went.
Every so often after those times, you give me opportunities. Sometimes I respond, sometimes I chicken out. Still, after confessing, repenting, and listening for another opportunity from You, I strain to hear your voice.
Help me to hear your whisper, Jesus. Help me to serve in secret, doing what you want me to without calling attention to myself.
Yours, O Lord. Surrendered.
Bring revival, heal this land.