Spirit Sent

01. May 2023 Acts 0

Text: Acts 13:4-12

Theme: Knowing the Holy Spirit is leading us brings great confidence.

Key verses: “So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport…and then sailed for the island of Cyprus. There,…they went to the Jewish synagogues and preached the Word of God…Afterward they traveled from town to town across the entire island until they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer name Bar-Jesus. He had attached himself to the governor…who was an intelligent man. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to know the word of God. But Elymas, the sorcerer…interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. He was trying to keep the governor from believing. Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye, ‘You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud…Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck blind…’ Instantly mist and darkness came over the man’s eyes…When the governor say what had happened, he became a believer, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.”

What God said to me: Good morning! Welcome to a new day to serve me. I am your good, good Father and I look forward to blessing you this week beyond your imagination. Never forget I am with you. I will never leave you or forsake you. Now, let’s focus on this passage in Acts 13. The entire paragraph and story is colored and motivated by one simple sentence in verse 4: They went “sent out by the Holy Spirit.” Don’t miss the weight and significance of those powerful words. Being sent by my Spirit made all the difference to Paul and Barnabas. Consider what that truth implies. Being sent means being approved. The Holy Spirit approved of Paul and Barnabas. He approved of them as my servants and he sanctioned their mission. Can you imagine what that must have done for their confidence, knowing that the One who made the universe had also commissioned them to go? Being sent by the Spirit also meant they were qualified to do what he had sent out them out to do. Didn’t matter whether they saw themselves as qualified. My Spirit had sent them, and that is all the evidence they needed to see that they could in fact get the mission done. Besides, their fellow colleagues and superiors had already laid hands on them, thus signifying their recognition of my Spirit on Paul and Barnabas. Being sent by the Holy Spirit also implied that the Spirit would be with them along their journey. It wouldn’t make sense for the Spirit to abandon those he had sent. Furthermore, being sent out by the Spirit meant Paul and Barnabas would have all the power and direction they needed to handle whatever situation they encountered. And because my Spirit is the “Comforter,” they were guaranteed comfort and peace in the midst of any storm and difficulty. Considering all of these powerful benefits to being sent by the Holy Spirit, is it any wonder that they would display such enthusiasm and determination to go from town to town preaching in Jewish synagogues? As risky as that was, they were on a sanctioned and empowered mission, for which they could not fail. Why? Because my Spirit had sent them. And Paul was emboldened to confront the sorcerer because my Spirit was with him, giving him spiritual discernment and Holy Spirit boldness and faith. There is much you can learn and apply here, Dwayne. For you, too, have been sent by my Spirit. Soak on that truth bomb for a while…

What I said to God: Wow, thank You, my God and Friend. You know I needed this powerful truth unfolded and unpacked before me today. It is no wonder that Paul could say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He really could! He had originally been sent out by Your Spirit! So nothing could stop him from fulfilling his God-ordained mission. Please forgive me when I forget and take for granted that Your hand is upon me. I am humbled under Your mighty hand of trust and blessing and protection and power on me. I am undone by Your mercy and love for me. Thank You that by Your grace alone, I have been sent. And please help me never lose sight of the mission and purpose for which I was sent.