Text: Acts 13:1-4
Theme: God called Paul & Barnabas during a time of worship
Key verses: “Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon…, Lucius…, Manaen…, and Saul. One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.’ So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down…” (v. 1-4).
What God said to me: Notice that for many months Saul (Paul) was just one of the teacher guys. He was worshiping and serving alongside other teachers at the Antioch Church. Then one day, while they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit called him out to a “special work.” Paul didn’t vie for position there at Antioch. He was content being a faithful and teachable servant and a local church teacher. He worshiped and served alongside others as he waited before God. Dwayne, take note of his humility to bloom where he was planted. He had already demonstrated his unique and effective preaching style and his ability to boldly debate and proclaim my Gospel. Yet, he didn’t take advantage of that ability. He didn’t think more highly of himself than he should. He waited for if and when I would elevate him to do more. No doubt, he had an urge to do more, go more and reach more. Passionate leaders like Paul always do. Like Jeremiah, my Word was “shut up” in Paul’s bones “like a fire.” But he stayed the course, stayed where the elders had put him, worshiping and fasting and serving in the local church. One more notable fact: the Holy Spirit spoke to his elders and told them to send him out. They laid hands on him and Barnabas and commissioned them to go. Dwayne, be careful not to see yourself as a lone warrior. You should have accountability. You should be under the authority of local church elders, as Paul was. This is a vital and often overlooked principle. No man is an island. Be accountable. Wait until those around you and also above you take notice of my hand on you. Wait on me to speak through them to confirm my calling on your life. This is the biblical model of elevation.
What I said to God: Thank You, Father, for speaking clearly to me today. As I sit in these beautiful surroundings in Zambia, Africa, I am grateful for the many men and women who have believed in me and saw Your hand on me over the years. From childhood You have placed pastors and other godly leaders in my path to mentor me and help send me out. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the strong mentorship and approval of my spiritual fathers and mothers along the way. May we always humble ourselves and serve faithfully where You place us. Like Paul, may we worship You and wait before You. Oh, that we might learn to be content to serve You as we serve those around us–wherever we are right now.