Acts 13:1-3 – Now there were prophets and teachers at Antioch, in the church that was there: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set Barnabas and Saul apart for Me for the work to which I have called them.” Then, when they had fasted, prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

I love the supernatural that seems almost normal that is entrenched in the book of Acts. This passage describes a prayer meeting where God speaks to His church. Apparently the Lord had been speaking to Paul and Barnabus about the possibility of a church planting mission. The Lord said “Set Barnabas and Saul apart for Me for the work to which I have called them”. He had already called them and this was a word of confirmation in the church. This is what Brian Simmons says about this.

“Here we see the Lord of the harvest, the Holy Spirit, sending out laborers into the harvest field. The Holy Spirit speaks in many different ways. Perhaps he spoke a prophecy through one of the prophets in the church, or a divine voice may have interrupted their worship. God’s Spirit still speaks today in any way he chooses.”

One of the things we all have come across is Christians making questionable decisions and saying “The Lord told me to do this”. In the New Testament the church and its leadership are connected to confirming the direction of the Lord. It is supernatural and provides protection from going off into some huge mistake. Here is how the CCE COMMENTARY describes this process.

“This story doesn’t suggest Paul had a “God told me to go to Spain” idea totally detached from any reference to the church (individualism), but neither does it show us that the church followed a mechanical decision-making process devoid of prayer and the Spirit, which often exists in bureaucratic systems (institutionalism). The Spirit gave the word (we aren’t told how), and then the congregation affirmed this mission.”

So looking back at this passage we can clearly see the hand of God. First, the church was gathered in prayer and worship as they always did. The pastors were involved in the process. The Lord spoke, probably through a prophetic utterance. The prophesy confirmed what the Lord had been saying to Paul and Barnabus. This describes the supernatural yet almost normal way the Lord leads His people.

2 thoughts on “SENT BY GOD”

  1. Questionable decisions, moments of selfishness, what about me moments. Been there, and those unsettled occurrences are never concurrent with spiritual clarity. When peace seems absent, we can be vulnerable. Just like fuel injected engines should never be run on the gas at the bottom of the tank because trash/contaminates that worked their way down can clog up the engine costing even more in repairs.

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