Conversion or Presence?

Acts 9 talks about the conversion of Saul. This is a very powerful moment in the witness of God's power through the Holy Spirit. The big thing that most churches focus on in this section is the conversion of Saul. I want to look at the disciple Ananias.

Here is this follower of The Way who was in Damascus and he gets this call from the Lord. Ananias had this call to approach Saul on Straight Street in Damascus and was told to basically baptize the man. This wouldn't be too big of a deal except for the fact that Saul was arresting and persecuting followers of The Way. Ananias' devotion, despite his reluctance, to the Lord made it possible for the majority of the New Testament to be written.

When I reflect upon the text, I wonder what would have happened if Ananias never went to see Saul? Would we still be recognized as Christians today?

The beautiful thing and the point of this post is the fact that Saul had already been converted by the time Ananias met him. Ananias was not called to convert Saul, but he was called to be present with Paul. The ministry of presence. The discipleship practice of presence.

The simple act of being present and caring for people is more effective than any agenda we could offer. It is a turn off for most people when they find out that you are only friends with them because you want to convert them.

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