I have lived on this earth for quite a few years now. I have been involved in all kinds of people groups which include family, friends, workplace, teaching, university and church groups. Where two or three are gathered, there seems to be “that one” who knows it all, trumps all conversations and works hard to get the last word. Are you thinking of them now? Wait! Could it be you? Could it be me? At times, we all suffer from this malady…knowing just enough to be dangerous. Right?!?
Take note, friends, Know-it-alls are easy putty in the hands of the devil for he knows that deep down they suffer from insecurities that he can use to destroy the work of God in people, including themselves.
Upon commissioning Saul (Paul) and Barnabas with protégé John Mark to go preach the Gospel beyond Jerusalem, they get on the next ship that is departing to Cyprus. In their teaching at all the Jewish synagogues on the island, they encounter a wizard, a know-it-all, who is obviously from the devil, opposed to all things Jesus. Dr. Know-it-all really steps up his “game” when the Governor wants to hear the gospel from Saul/Paul.
Satan works that way, the closer we come to Jesus, the more tools the devil pulls from his limited tool belt. Satan works fast, slyly, and cunningly as he throws wrenches into God’s work. But remember the power of God rose Jesus from the grave? That same power works through Paul/Saul to stop the diversionary tactics of Dr. Know-it-all.
Friends, isn’t interesting that Paul used the same blinding tactic on Dr. Know-it-all as Jesus used on him? Mm, something to think about, right? Sometimes God uses our past growth experiences with Him to use later. God wastes nothing in our growth years with Him. God is like that. He is the One and Only who knows it all. Only God.
“When the governor saw what happened, he became a believer, full of enthusiasm over what they were saying about the Master.” God’s acts through His Holy Spirit in Paul to bring a leader to believe in Jesus Christ, His Son! Nothing stops what God is doing! Absolutely no one, not even the “Know-it-alls” in our lives.
ACTS—God’s Acts through His Disciples
Acts 13:1-12, The Message
Barnabas, Saul, and Doctor Know-It-All
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.
6-7 They traveled the length of the island, and at Paphos came upon a Jewish wizard who had worked himself into the confidence of the governor, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man not easily taken in by charlatans. The wizard’s name was Bar-Jesus. He was as crooked as a corkscrew.
7-11 The governor invited Barnabas and Saul in, wanting to hear God’s Word firsthand from them. But Dr. Know-It-All (that’s the wizard’s name in plain English) stirred up a ruckus, trying to divert the governor from becoming a believer. But Saul (or Paul), full of the Holy Spirit and looking him straight in the eye, said, “You bag of wind, you parody of a devil—why, you stay up nights inventing schemes to cheat people out of God. But now you’ve come up against God himself, and your game is up. You’re about to go blind—no sunlight for you for a good long stretch.” He was plunged immediately into a shadowy mist and stumbled around, begging people to take his hand and show him the way.
12 When the governor saw what happened, he became a believer, full of enthusiasm over what they were saying about the Master.
Thank you for saving my soul! Thank you for making me whole, renewing my Spirit, refreshing my heart, mind and soul with all of you living in all of me. YOU are all I need to navigate this world. I cannot do it on my own. I do not know it all. But you do. My life is in You. I trust and believe in You.
I was blind, but now I see. Continue to teach me.
In Jesus Name, Amen