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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.”

Acts 13:1-3


In Acts 1:8 Jesus told his disciples they would be his witnesses “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In Acts 13 the church at Antioch, including Saul and Barnabas, prayerfully waited for direction from God. The church of Jesus Christ is called to listen for the Spirit’s leading as we ask, “What do you want us to do next?”

The Antioch church was fasting and praying in a position of readiness, eager to hear the Lord’s orders and to obey them. And the Spirit of God responded with a clear directive: “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

They were not to go on their own mission project, nor the church’s. They were to do the work of the Holy Spirit. They needed to continue to listen for what the Spirit would tell them to do and where to do it.

You and I must have a heart of submission to the Spirit. We need to be open to the plans that the Spirit of God has for us so that God can work in and through our lives. The Spirit is looking for us to continue the work of Jesus.

Loving God, each person in this world is an object of your love. And by your Spirit you call us to bear witness to your truth. Give us your clear directions, we pray. Amen.

Bible References

Acts 13:1-3

13 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

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I will gladly give the Holy Spirit to those who will ask