Devotional on Acts

Enjoy the moment but realize it may not be permanent

Acts 13: Take Barnabas and Saul and commission them for the work I have called them to do.

When Paul’s converted the Lord says “I have picked him as my personal representative to Gentiles and kings, and Jews.” From the beginning it’s clear that the Lord intends for this man to minister beyond the current reach of the Church. Now, years later we find Paul, along with his friend and mentor Barnabas working among the Gentile believers in Antioch. It’s reasonable to assume that Paul thinks he’s fulfilling that calling, living distant from Jerusalem, ministering across cultural lines. Then there’s an unexpected stirring in his heart. The Lord is moving him in a new, and somewhat unexpected, direction. Soon the church leaders receive word from the Holy Spirit on this matter. Paul and Barnabas are to be set apart to take the gospel into new territory. The move a few years earlier to Antioch may have felt as though it was the ultimate response to God’s call but now Paul sees that it was but a step in the direction the Lord had for him. The rest of his life will be lived “out there” proclaiming the gospel in new places, doing just what the Lord said years earlier in Damascus. To some extent we’re always on a journey. Even when we stay in the same place the circumstances around us change. However, at times the Lord tells us that what we took for a permanent assignment was merely a stepping stone to the next thing. Just because the Lord puts me in a place for a time or blesses me in a particular way as I do things in some specific manner doesn’t mean that I’m to institutionalize it and refuse to budge from there. I must not confuse a step for a permanent assignment.

Take Away: Don’t get too settled. The Lord may just be preparing you for the next step in your journey.

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