Courage in Community

Acts 13:8-11

But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.”

 

In Acts 13, we read that the young faith community was strong in Antioch. There were, “prophets and teachers” there who gathered in the name of Jesus to be led by the Spirit. Indeed, they fasted and prayed, and the Holy Spirit guided them to set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work of going to the synagogues and proclaiming Jesus as Lord. That was a daunting task, and one filled with risks.

It really struck me that in this passage, Paul was able to step out and strongly confront his antagonist, Elymas the Sorcerer. Paul proclaimed the hand of the Lord against the evil being perpetrated by Elymas.

I began to wonder, why it does not appear that we have the same power that Paul had to constrain evil. Paul boldly spoke out, and God delivered them from evil opposition.

It was at that point that I believe God said to me, “Perhaps when you take more seriously your dependence upon the Holy Spirit, praying, fasting, and being of one accord as a community to work MY will, I will pour out my power upon you to deliver MY purposes”.

Well, I am not exactly sure if God was speaking that to me, or if I was just musing to myself. I do however believe the truth of the statement. When we as a Christian community get deadly serious about doing God’s will- to the point of risking all for Him and His purposes, we will see more obvious power in our own lives to accomplish that divine purpose.

What might God be prompting the Christian community to do in this time of national crisis? Surely, we are called upon to make sacrifices like social distancing and detailed attention to hygienic practices, but what else might God be calling you to do?

 

Prayer: Father, thank you for the power that you give us to do your will. Help us to see it more clearly, and to desire it more zealously. Amen

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