Gentle Nudging

Acts 12:25–13:3

While they were ministering to the Lord—fasting, singing, teaching, witnessing, and praying—the Holy Spirit said, “Okay, hitch up the wagons, fellas . . . westward, ho! I need Barnabas and Paul for the work to which I have called them.”

Can you imagine how some would react today? “You can’t be serious. You’re gonna take two of the five chefs and send them to another joint? We’ll starve! You’re gonna reach down in our ranks and pull two of the best adult fellowship teachers we’ve got and move them to some distant mission field? That’s two-fifths of our leadership. We can’t let these guys slip through our fingers!”

But none of that occurred in Antioch. As soon as those folks realized it was the Spirit of God who was sending them on, they released them. And the change occurred (don’t miss this!) “while they were ministering.” It didn’t happen in a lull, when giving was way down, or during a period of leadership transition. God lifted these men from that exciting setting while the church was at its zenith, steaming ahead full-bore. People were coming by the cartload, deep needs were being met, souls were being saved, lives were being transformed, families were getting healthy, the place was electric! Still, the Spirit said, “It’s time for change.” Who would’ve ever imagined? But God is full of surprises, since He sees the big picture while we focus mainly on the here and now.

It was God’s way of telling Barnabas and Paul it was time to move. By the way, the Lord did the speaking. In those days the Lord revealed Himself in a number of ways. Today, I believe He speaks to us through His Word, through the gentle nudging of the Spirit, and through the collective witness of His people. Then it may have been in a night vision, or during a time while the disciples were praying, meditating on the Scriptures, or while fasting. A couple of the leaders sensed the Lord’s leading in a new direction. Others verified the voice. The Lord said, in effect, “I have work for two of you to do elsewhere. Not all of you, only two, and My plan is best. Release Barnabas and Paul. They are the two I’m calling elsewhere.”

Westward, ho!

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

Posted in God's Will and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.

ఖచ్చితత్వం, స్పష్టత మరియు ఆచరణాత్మకత అన్నీ చార్లెస్ ఆర్. స్విన్డాల్ యొక్క బైబిల్-బోధనా పరిచర్యను వివరిస్తాయి. చక్ ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ కు బోర్డు ఛైర్మన్ మరియు డల్లాస్ థియోలాజికల్ సెమినరీకి ఛాన్సలర్. చక్ టెక్సాస్‌లోని ఫ్రిస్కోలోని స్టోన్‌బ్రయర్ కమ్యూనిటీ చర్చ్ యొక్క సీనియర్ పాస్టర్‌గా కూడా పనిచేస్తున్నారు, అక్కడ ఆయన చాలా ఇష్టపడేదాన్ని చేయగలుగుతున్నాడు-ఇష్టపడే హృదయాలకు బైబిల్ నేర్పిస్తున్నారు. ఆచరణాత్మక బైబిల్ అనువర్తనంపై ఆయన దృష్టి 1979 నుండి ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ రేడియో ప్రసారంలో వినబడుచున్నది.