This is edited and added to with my ‘opinionary’ from Blackaby’s devotional today…”God does everything for a reason. God met Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road for a purpose (Acts 9:1–9). Saul had planned to persecute Christians, but his encounter with Christ changed him forever. God did more in that encounter than save Saul from his sin. God began to reveal His will for Paul’s life. God’s assignment for Paul was clear.”
When Ananias prayed for Saul, God told him that Saul who would be Paul was chosen by God for such a time as this. “He is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:15–16).
Paul was obedient to the call of God and the church thrived even in persecution because of his willing accountability to God and to the church.
Ananias brought Saul to the disciples at Damascus and introduced him there and also brought God’s message that Saul/Paul was chosen by God for the message of salvation for the Gentiles.
I am not always happy with Paul, because he is so plain spoken, but Jesus really didn’t pull punches either. Our lives are a constant encounter with those who do and don’t believe, and our commitment to our faith must show in word and in deed, just as Paul’s did.