The Set-Up Man

Read: Acts 9 In our week-long discussion of "closers," I would likely offend the countless number of baseball fans who read PrayFit each day (wink, wink) if I missed discussing one critical role -- the one known only as "the set-up man." You won't find his name on the wall in Cooperstown. No statues of him outside the stadium. See, he's virtually award-less, unnoticed, even forgettable. All that and still necessary to our topic.

Now, Paul would have been an excellent person to shine our light upon this week, agree? I had his name scribbled on my list. He was actually first. But then I thought about his set-up man. Do you know his name?

Paul (at the time still named Saul) had been blind three days. One question from the Lord on the road to Damascus had darkened his life. This most zealous of Christian killers was hell-bent on adding a few notches to his belt when Jesus scared hell right out of him. "I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting." Lights out. Can't you see him in his room? Cold, confused, shivering, drooling, eyes caked shut. Doesn't exactly sound like the world's greatest evangelist. Enter Ananias.

If you've read today's chapter, you realize that Ananias knew of Saul's reputation and while begging God not to send him, God assured Ananias that He had plans for Saul. See, it was Ananias' job to give Paul the ball, to tap him on the shoulder, to summon the closer within. "Saul...the Lord Jesus...sent me." (Acts 9:17) Paul took the ball.

Who in your life needs you to be Ananias? It could be the kid nobody talks to in class. The woman nobody sits near in church. The not-so-fit guy on the bike. Someone needs Ananias to put a hand on a shoulder. Somebody needs help in realizing the closer within. Ananias didn't know what Paul would do for the cause of Christ, God did. We don't know what God has in store for those around us, but sharing Christ with them is our job. The best part is, every closer needs a set-up man, and every closer can be one.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: What a tremendous honor to be humbled and used like Ananias to help spring Paul into ministry. What do you take away from this story? Does it make you want to close well, be someone's set-up man, both? Please share your thoughts.

Photo courtesy Food NetworkRECIPE OF THE WEEK: Arugula Pesto

Enliven your pasta repertoire with this healthier summer sauce from PrayFit and Food Network contributor Dana Angelo White.

>> Click here for the recipe!