So here they are. Amidst persecution and deliverance; preaching and unfathomable growth. The refrain of Jesus’ commission rings steadily….GO! Make disciples to the ends of the earth. But tactically, what now? Where to go? How? Who? What roles for each person? Where to start? What does it look like?
Do you ever feel like that?
The diverse and beautiful church body is worshiping, praying and fasting together over these questions. It isn’t the theological questions, but the directional questions related to the bigger calling. They want to be obedient to the larger calling, and they want the Holy Spirit to guide them in all their ways.
While worshipping and fasting, the Holy Spirit says, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” The time is now. The men are Paul and Barnabas.
The church is in a posture to hear God, and He speaks to them. God works by sending people out with a call and the power of the Holy Spirit for the good works He has prepared in advance for them.
“Set apart for me…” the Spirit says. To be set apart we must separate and part from other things. From things that keep us where we are or distract us from our call.
It isn’t always easy to GO when you are in a close-knit community where you are loved, cared for, comforted and feel at home. Being set apart and sent off is hard.
So, you know what this church body does? They fast and pray some more. Then they lay hands on Barnabas and Saul – a commissioning – and send them off.
Paul, the well-educated, fiery, former persecutor, and Barnabas, the respected “son of encouragement” go. And their going launches a movement of church planting and teaching that changes the entire Roman world.
What are you being set apart from? What disciplines have you incorporated into your life to hear God?
I’m convicted today to worship, fast and pray more deliberately. I love the Lord and I love the Word, but I’m convicted to go deeper and to make it a habit and a discipline. To get in a posture to hear from God. To soften my heart for the setting apart and sending off God has for me, in whatever capacity that might look like.
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