The obedience of Antioch impacted others. So, they being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. There is a key point we need to see in this verse. These were sent forth of the Holy Ghost. They had not simply chosen a new work on their own. They were led of the Spirit, sent forth by Him. As they began their journey, He guided their path. He opened doors of opportunity as they traveled. Paul and Barnabas were following the guidance of the Spirit and He prepared the way ahead of them. If we desire to impact our world for Christ, having sought Him in earnest prayer, and are following the direction of the Spirit, we need not worry about the opportunities or the results. If we are in the will of God, the Spirit will go ahead of us, preparing the way. If we follow His lead, we can be confident of fulfillment. And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister. Here we find the purpose for their being sent out: to preach the Word of God.
As we continue this series I am trying to bring out an encouragement to you on how you can really impact the world. Lets look at and ponder the scripture for it says, “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.” The Spirit revealed His will for the church and the saints of God responded to His leadership. They submitted to the will of God for their lives. There was no hesitation, just obedience. I would never discourage anyone from praying, but there are some things we don’t need to pray about. We don’t to pray about obeying the Word of God. We don’t need to pray about seeking to fulfill the Great Commission. There is nothing wrong in being sure that you have the mind of God regarding ministry, but when you are assured of His leading, step out in faith without hesitation. Many churches have missed great opportunities due to hesitation. I want to be sensitive to the Spirit and obedient to His call.
And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. Here you see the biblical model for missions. Missionaries ought to be commissioned of the local church, prayed over, and sent out unto their field. Antioch was burdened about the need for others to hear of Christ. They were actively involved in ministry, praying unto the Lord to be used of Him. God answered their prayer and led them to send missionaries to the field. There is a principle here that we need to see. We may not send one of our own to a foreign field, but we must be willing to send those from among us into the field of harvest. We will never impact our world if we are content to keep the Gospel within these four walls. Someone must be willing to go where the lost and needy are, taking the Gospel to them!
They were not sent out on an extended vacation. This was not a leisure trip. Barnabas and Paul were focused on the task at hand, sharing the Gospel with those who had not heard. That must be the focal point of all we do if we expect to impact our world for Christ. There are a lot of activities that benefit people in various ways, but the goal of the church is to reach the lost for Christ and spread truth. We must actively seek ways to share our faith and be agents of truth to this world. That is not to say that we can’t minister in various ways, but whatever the avenue of ministry, the goal is to share the good news. The proclamation of the Gospel and truth can turn the world upside down, but we will never experience that unless we are willing to proclaim truth. We have begun our journey to discover how God used Paul and others to turn the world upside down for Jesus. Fellowship, do you desire to impact our world for Christ and with the truth? Do you have a burden for those who have not heard? Are you willing to follow the direction of the Spirit?