When the Scales Have Fallen
A basic fundamental for any Christian who desires to be strong in the Lord is having a proper understanding of “God is with us” . To move from the spectator seats to being in the actual arena where the building of His Kingdom and the work of Jesus is being done, you must have a solid foundation of His omnipresence. If you have accepted Him into your life then you must believe He is there, He is with you.
To help in the development of this concept, let’s look at Paul’s encounter with Jesus.
Acts 9:1-12, 15-19
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
Let’s notice first, Jesus knew Saul. He knew all about Saul. He knew everything Saul was doing and knew where to find him. This would mean Jesus had to have been on the road to Damascus as well. In this encounter there was nothing hidden about Saul which Jesus did not already know. Again, He knew who Saul was, where he was, what he was doing and who he was doing it for, and who he was doing it to. He saw all that was happening in the life of Saul.
Jesus spoke to Saul and he understood the words being spoken. This means Jesus had to have been there in order for Saul to hear. The other side of this story is Saul did not know who Jesus was, he was not aware of Him yet. Therefore, Jesus actually had to identify Himself to Saul. Even if Saul did not know it was Jesus, he was obviously aware of His presence at that moment.
The men with Saul heard the sound but saw no one. Jesus chose not to identify Himself to them. What an amazing event which clearly shows the omnipresence of the Lord and what His presence is truly like. Now let’s look at part two of this story, Ananias.
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “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.” Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength…. NIV
Jesus knew right where to find one of His disciples to do the work He needed done. Jesus knows where all His disciples are at any given moment. He also knows how He can use them, and what they are capable of doing for Him.
Remember this word “moment”.
Jesus called on Ananias to go and minister to Saul. Ananias knew the voice of the Lord and the moment Jesus called him, he answered. Obviously they had conversed before and he was familiar with the voice of Jesus, He didn’t have to identify Himself. Ananias instantly knew who was talking to him. For this to take place Jesus’ presence had to have been there with Ananias. Again, he knew who was speaking to him. They talked to each other and understood one another like any two people who knew each other twould be in a normal conversation.
This encounter did not startle Ananias, nor did it seem strange or out of place to him but perfectly normal. So normal was this encounter Ananias was comfortable enough to respectfully question the Lord in what He was asking him to do. He was talking to the Lord the same as he would with anybody else.
Again, Jesus knew everything about Ananias, who he was, where he was, and knew what He could count on from him at any given moment in time. Jesus even shared His plans and purposes for Saul’s life (Acts 9:15-16) with Ananias. The following scripture shows the heart of Jesus in wanting to share His plans with any of His disciples.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. NIV
Jesus knew Ananias and he knew Jesus. He was ready and willing to go and do for the Lord the “moment” he was asked. He was aware of the Lord’s presence, His voice, and what the Lord was asking of Him specifically. He knew what it meant to lay hands on Saul and ask for the Holy Spirit to come into his life. This was not a strange request for Ananias, he understood exactly what He was asked to do. This is also a great picture of what a trained disciple of Jesus looks like.
This is the only mention of Ananias in the Bible, but what he did for the Lord in a moment of time went down as a powerful testimony in Saul’s life with Jesus. Two brief moments in time, two short encounters with Jesus literally affected the lives of millions throughout history.
In examining the presence of Jesus, here is what this story reveals.
Jesus had personal knowledge of these two men. He knew them, and everything about them. Jesus knew everything they were doing and where He could find them. Jesus knew how to communicate with them so that each one of them understood Him perfectly. Although Saul did not know it was Jesus, he still understood the words being spoken to him. Jesus also knew what each man was capable of doing and how to use them.
For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above–spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. Eph 2:10 AMP
So one knew Jesus personally and how to talk with Him, and one needed his eyes and ears opened. When the scales fell off of Saul’s eyes he could now physically and spiritually see. From that day forward he had a working knowledge of the presence of Jesus in His life.
This is who Jesus is, this was not just a special one time occurance. This is how He would be present with anyone. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb.13:8). If He was this way with Saul and Ananias then He can be this way with you. He knows everything about you. He knows right where you are physically, spiritually, and mentally. In every way possible, Jesus knows you. He knows what you are capable of doing so He knows how to use you. The real question is do you want to be used by the Lord?
As these scriptures reveal to us Jesus was there, it is one of the attributes of the Lord, which is so powerful. He is the God who is here. Our understanding should always be that the Lord is present. He is not lost or away at the moment. He is not on vacation and should be back in a week or two. He is not gone, leaving you to hope He shows up. He is not distant, instead His presence is always here. So living in the moment with Jesus will be based on how aware our faith allows Him to be present.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 NKJV
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:20-23 NKJV
No matter the story in scriptures, if you examine them you will find these truths of God being present in what is happening, God is there. His ability to be there should not be in question nor should there be any doubt about His presence, but rather our ability to know and hear Him, and being fully aware of His presence.
In the article titled “The Awareness Factor”, we mentioned the concept of our personal life space. This is the space where you and the Lord merge your spaces. With Ananias the spaces were already merged, the Lord was able to communicate freely with him and he with Jesus. He was able to give Ananias an assignment and knew he would carry it out for Him. This should be every Christian’s goal, to be this type of disciple for Jesus. Your personal space being so in tune with Jesus that you are one with Him (Jn.17:20-23). Being fully aware He is there, knowing who He is and what life with Him is all about. To truly have those, in the moment encounters with Jesus, we need to grow and mature in our awareness of Him with us.
If you choose to stay immature, then you are going to miss those opportunities where He lives His life through you. They will just slip right by because you are more focused on your own personal space and not the two of you together. You are really centered on self, doing for yourself what you want, living your life and not really including the Lord all that much. This is what keeps us immature and dulls our awareness of His presence. You can be a good church goer, but still not fully allow Jesus to have His life working through you. Maybe like Saul you need to have the scales fall off from your spiritual eyes.
Jesus wants you to have and enjoy life, He does this by merging His life with your life. He wants you to be one with Him. He wants you to experience His presence all the time. So start letting your faith center on Him and come alive to the awareness of His presence, and know He is Jesus, the “God who is here”, right here, right now with you.