How to Go in Faith in the Face of Fear

When my husband and I were first married we were in a season of high responsibility in our work as missionaries. I was leading a small team that was coordinating outreaches for hundreds of people from our organization who were coming to our city during the 2010 Olympic Games. Another part of my role was to collaborate with other church and ministry leaders with our joint outreach projects. Stuart was on a team that was leading training school, where students from around the world were coming to be discipled and equipped for missions. In that season our call was not to go, but to stay, host and help in our own city.

By the time the Olympics were over we finally had a season to start to build our faith together as a married couple. We had a lineup of major events across the continent that we were planning to attend, and we had a sense from God that it was our time to GO! We were up for it, but it seemed impossible with our small income and no plan for transportation or places to stay along the way. We began to dream and pray about a big road trip and as we started to plan and share, opportunities to serve at different places along our way started to open. Unexpected donations came in. Our leaders asked us to include stops to share mission opportunities at churches and conferences. Our dreams and plans started to be confirmed one by one, but a major piece of the puzzle was missing: we needed a car.

We were literally down to the last few days before we would need to leave for a Sunday morning commitment at a church in San Francisco to share with Youth. I had a ministry meeting that afternoon, and I remember after praying my husband said, “What are we going to do if God doesn’t bring us a car?” I don’t think I missed a beat before saying “I guess we’ll take our luggage outside and wait at the curb.” I don’t know if we laughed or cried, but I do know I was convinced God has setting the whole thing up, so I went to my meeting. After a great time strategizing and talking about ministry with the woman I was meeting with, she asked “what are your plans for the next season?” I told her a brief synopsis of our plans and that we were waiting for the last piece of the puzzle, a car. I remember feeling a little embarrassed and wondering if she thought I was crazy – but she almost instantly said she needed step away to make a phone call. When she returned, she said “I found you a car.”


In Acts 9 we find the incredible story of Saul’s conversion. After the death of Stephen in the previous chapter, we read that the believers were scattered from Jerusalem because there was great persecution there. The persecution wasn’t just staying there either – as we see that Saul was determined to chase the believers down to drag them back to Jerusalem for trial and punishment. On his way to do just that, we see the dramatic story of his fall from an actual high horse to the literal dirt with a blinding vision of Jesus confronting him directly. He is told to go into the city and wait for instructions, so those with him led him to Damascus and he waited for 3 days without food or drink.

He’s where the ordinary guy comes in.

Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” Acts 9:10

You might recall a few people called Ananias in the book of Acts, but as far as we can tell this is the only mention of this one from Damascus. We don’t know anything about his life before this, how he became a believer or what happened to him after. Yet he is chosen to play an incredible role in the life of the early church. His vision of the Lord contrasted with the dramatic vision of Paul on the road. Paul’s vision knocked his whole life off course, but this believer heard from God within the context of relationship. You can see it in their responses: Paul said “Who are you, Lord?” (Acts 9:5) and Ananias said “Here I am, Lord” (Acts 9:10).


I recently heard someone explain that in Christian life the bolder the thing, the more confirmations must come along the way until it becomes disobedient if you don’t do it. I find great comfort in the story of Ananias when it comes to that, look at all the details God gave about what he was asking him to do:

So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision, he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” Acts 9:11-12

As romantic as ‘blind faith’ sounds, I don’t really believe in that. God was speaking to Ananias as a father giving his son directions. God told him the street address and described the house; He gave checkpoints to look for Saul who was blind and praying. He went ahead of Ananias and told Paul who to expect was coming.


When we were planning our road trip it seemed foolish to confirm dates and talk about our plans without means to do it – but I saw God’s fingerprints and the possibilities to bless so many people by our obedience to go, I knew that God would provide the way. Even if I had to stand on the curbside and wait for my ride, even though I was a little scared and embarrassed.

Ananias also had a test in his journey: he knew that Saul was on a mission to destroy the followers of Jesus and so he asked God about that. He had every reason to be afraid, but God is big enough to handle his questions and offer this explanation to feed his faith:

But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:15

The obedience of Ananias was a critical mission, a seed that bore bushels and orchards of fruit. His faith the face of fear still blesses those who read Paul’s writing, which is about a quarter of the New Testament. As you walk in obedience to the Lord today, may you have the privilege of planting seeds that will exponentially bless future generations.