Before You Begin: Read Acts 13:1-3
Barnabas and Saul Went Off
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
Stop and Consider: While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
Questions Asked of Me: When you are just not certain what direction God is leading you, how do you go about discerning His will? What have you learned about this process by experience?
Quite frankly, the first thing I do is reach out to my parents and my best friend Lynnette. I explain to them the situation that I am unsure about and we talk together. No decisions are ever really made but they are eager to pray with and for me; as well as helping me to discern more readily the scenario that Jesus puts me in. Moving to Nineveh was such a scenario.
We prayed for my husband to get a permanent job instead moving from one 6month contract job to another. A year ago we prayed for a job in aerospace. He landed BOTH in a land far away from what I was comfortable with…in Nineveh.
It was months that I heard Jesus pulling me there to follow but I couldn’t be sure; probably because I didn’t want to be sure. I just knew my purpose was to be serving my church and ministry that He had already led us to and to write with my friend and go to conferences together. I needed to discern….was it possible that my purpose was in Michigan and Robbe’s was in Nineveh? Jesus would never do that but the alternative was not something I wanted.
I learned that it is more than talking about His will and praying about it. I have learned that when you pray for an answer and get that answer, you also need to live by and abide that answer. I can’t keep praying until I get the answer I want and the way I want it. I knew months before moving that it was His will for me….for us. I also knew that just because I was a Christian now, didn’t mean that I wasn’t still susceptible to pouting and putting things off.
I now know (and probably always did) that no matter what you pray for, or ask guidance about, or try to discern….you must always be willing to listen (not just hear) to what Jesus and those you trust are telling you, and be obedient. Dragging your feet where Jesus is concerned is not an option…. Just ask Jonah.
How deeply does the call to reach nations affect your praying, your heartbeat, and your church’s reason for being? How could this priority increase in intensity for you?
I haven’t had a desire to reach other nations but I do pray for our church members that go there to bring the Word of God to them and to show them the community spirit that our church feels for them. I learned this morning that our new church is about community and bringing people to God but not sure of their reach to other nations. It probably could be an increase in intensity for me but as of now I don’t feel led to reach out beyond my community. But, I am certain if Jesus decides that needs to change, I will be the first to know and act on that newfound intensity.
Praying God’s Word Today: You say to us, “Pay attention to Me, My people, and listen to Me, My nation; for instruction will come from Me, and My justice for a light to the nations. I will bring it about quickly. My righteousness is near, My salvation appears, and My arms will bring justice to the nations. The coastlands will put their hope in Me, and they will look to My strength” (Isaiah 51:4-5). Lord, I want to be part of this great work in our day, in whatever fashion You desire. “Speak, for Your servant is listening” (1Samuel 3:10).
You say jump and I ask “How high?” As long as I feel like jumping. But when You said “Move”, I asked “Are You sure?” And then when you said “Move”, I asked “Really, Jesus? But You have set everything up for me here and things are going so well.” I’m sorry for that. I don’t feel compelled to travel and spread Your Word to other nations and I say I would go if you asked me to, but would I? I would pray and prepare and raise money for those that would feel compelled to go, but is that enough? This is a question not yet posed to me before but one I wholeheartedly THINK I would embrace if You told me.
I do want to be a part of this great work in our day, in whatever fashion You desire but when it comes right down to it, I run the opposite direction or stop moving altogether. My intentions and work for You are true. My love for You is unquestionable. Am I ready to be considered for something as big as “other nations”? Or could those other nations be right here at home where others have slowly begun to express their need for You but just not knowing how to get to You?
I will pray about this and speak to my parents and Lynnette. I will do my best to discern what Your will is for me and I promise to try harder to be the person You intended me to be at ALL times and not just when it is something that interests me.
I will be the cheerleader and spokesperson You created me to be. If that means I enroll in Rosetta Stone to learn another language…just give me a little heads up.