In Acts 13 we see Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey. Often, we focus on Paul and Barnabas’ success. Instead, think with me about their response to opposition and resistance. It is in opposition that we see Paul and Barnabas’ character shine through. We do not see them grow frustrated or hopeless. We do not see them lose heart. We certainly don’t see them quit. Instead we see faith, determination, obedience, and a reliance on the Word of God.
Do we see that today? Do we see a reliance on the Word of God in our own life? Or, do we rely on experience or feelings to see us through? I hear many lament a lack of character we see in our leaders. Many of us weep over the loss of morality in our nation. Could it be that this lack of character and loss of morality is a symptom of a much deeper problem: we lack convictions? I think of a recurring refrain in the book of Judges. It says, “Every man did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6 & 21:25) In those days, men did horrible things simply because they ‘felt’ that it would produce the results they wanted.
Do we do that? Please note, I am not talking about the lost. I would expect the lost to act lost. My question is for the Christian who is thinking these things with me. Do we do what we feel will get us the results we want, or do we do what we know that God has said to do in His Word? Paul and Barnabas encounter difficult persecution, yet they respond with confidence, trust, and even rejoicing. They knew what God wanted them to do. They could join Him in His mission. If we rely on our feelings, can we really join God in His mission? Won’t we be more like John Mark (in verse 13) who deserted them?
The Scripture uses some strong military language to talk about our calling. It doesn’t do that so that we will be militant or violent. It does that because being a disciple of Jesus means that we have a single-minded devotion to His mission, His calling, and His plans. I have been challenged to push past my temporary feelings and seek His will. I want to have convictions, not just feelings. How about you?
Something to think about,