ACTS – The Acts of God
It happens still today. God has a way of not letting many teachers and preachers “pool” in one area. When a church is blessed with many leaders and there is a wondering “lull” in the ministry, that usually means that God is preparing someone to be sent out. It happens when there are too many leaders for the work at hand. God is the ultimate manger of His resources. We must always be alert, listen for His Voice and be expectantly ready. When we obey His call to be sent, more productive Kingdom work is accomplished. It’s not about us, it’s about God.
It happened to the young church at Antioch. Too many powerful, talented leaders in one location. So the next act of God was to send Barnabas and Saul to another location to spread the Good News of salvation for all.
Acts 13, The Message
1-2 The congregation in Antioch was blessed with a number of prophet-preachers and teachers:
Simon, nicknamed Niger,
Lucius the Cyrenian,
Manaen, an advisor to the ruler Herod,
One day as they were worshiping God—they were also fasting as they waited for guidance—the Holy Spirit spoke: “Take Barnabas and Saul and commission them for the work I have called them to do.”
3 So they commissioned them. In that circle of intensity and obedience, of fasting and praying, they laid hands on their heads and sent them off.
4-5 Sent off on their new assignment by the Holy Spirit, Barnabas and Saul went down to Seleucia and caught a ship for Cyprus. The first thing they did when they put in at Salamis was preach God’s Word in the Jewish meeting places. They had John along to help out as needed.
What do we learn?
–Blessed with a number of leaders, be ready for some in God’s church to be sent out.
–“They waited for guidance”. They went without eating, fasting from worldly routine, fine tuning their ears to specifically hear God’s Voice above all others. The wait prepares our hearts to listen.
–God speaks to hearts who are sincere, whose hearts are seeking him, and those hearts who are completely focused on Him. (2 Chronicles 16:9, “The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
–When God’s Holy Spirit spoke to prepared hearts, they obeyed…”in that circle of obedience”. Imagine being in the center of that circle of obedience being lifted up in prayers of thanksgiving along with other expectant hearts knowing that God is in control and is going to ACT in the lives of these willing participants? Wow! No wonder God’s work prospered!
–When there are too many leaders for the work at hand there are times when quarrels break out. I’ve seen it. Instead of being perplexed, maybe it’s time to pray, fast and listen to what God might be doing in our midst? Maybe there are too many leaders in the pool. God might be shaking things up so that talented people can be SENT out to prosper in a location that has little leadership and needs it.
–God is God and we are not. We pray. He works.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You have led our thoughts to an unexpected place this morning. Thank you for another look at being sent. Thank you for sending us out into challenging locations and teaching us many things about You along the journey. Thank you for Your love, care, conviction and challenge, provision and protection. Most of all, thank you for your salvation. Transform us, Lord. Don’t allow us to be complacent. We are your servants. And we are listening.
In Jesus Name, Amen