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Anointed and Sent Out

Acts 13: 4 So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus.5 There, in the town of Salamis, they went to the Jewish synagogues and preached the word of God. John Mark went with them as their assistant. We are looking at the beginning of the first missionary journey of Saul. You may notice that the one who sent them out to begin this whole journey of ministry was the Holy Spirit. Those who try to stay clear of talking about the Holy Spirit need to realize that everything we do for the Lord needs to be in accordance with the leading of the Holy Spirit. Now you see why Saul wrote this in Ephesians 5: 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit. No outside human wants and desires are accepted as a path for your life, only follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and learn from Him.

There is one thing for sure about Saul and Barnabas, they prayed!! The next thing that happened after they prayed is they were filled with the Holy Spirit and THEN they stepped out in their faith in the Holy Spirit for their next moves. Too many times we set full ministries into motion that seem good, but have not been prayed over and the results are less than what God intended. Sometimes we have just enough knowledge and some kind of talent to make us think we need to do a certain thing but God is not in it. Prayer is vital and without it, the results of what happens are temporal and weak. The intervention of our human desires will work against us even in seemingly spiritual, good moral things. Saul challenged the church at Ephesus to "live in the light" and the following verses nail down this great truth. Ephesians 5:10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

As we look on in Acts 13 we can quickly see that Saul needed the Holy Spirit's power and protection immediately. They traveled from town to town on the island of Cyprus and when they ended up at Paphos where they met a sorcerer named Bar-Jesus. The following scripture tells the story. Acts 13: 7 He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God.8 But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. He was trying to keep the governor from believing. It was at this point that Saul made a huge move in the face of adversity. Here is what Saul did in verses 9-11. Acts 13:9 Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye.10 Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord?11 Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck blind. You will not see the sunlight for some time.” Instantly mist and darkness came over the man’s eyes, and he began groping around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him.

Saul was going to defend the teaching of the gospel and the Holy Spirit stepped in and protected him and Barnabas and struck that evil sorcerer blind. Oh, you can bet this happened because it is in the Word of God. You may say "Is this some kind of a trick?" No. It is the power of God to protect His anointed (Saul and Barnabas) and the power of the Holy Spirit to keep the preaching of the message continuing. To be anointed means to be "set apart" or consecrated, which is a spiritual calling for a man of God. Never underestimate how God protects His anointed and how the Holy Spirit will protect the messenger and the message! Do not mess with God's anointed and learn from the example of the Sons of Korah in Numbers 16. Numbers 16: 23 And the Lord said to Moses, 24 “Then tell all the people to get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.” 25 So Moses got up and rushed over to the tents of Dathan and Abiram, followed by the elders of Israel. 26 “Quick!” he told the people. “Get away from the tents of these wicked men, and don’t touch anything that belongs to them. If you do, you will be destroyed for their sins.” 27 So all the people stood back from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Then Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrances of their tents, together with their wives and children and little ones. 28 And Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things that I have done—for I have not done them on my own. 29 If these men die a natural death, or if nothing unusual happens, then the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord does something entirely new and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have shown contempt for the Lord.” 31 He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. 32 The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned. 33 So they went down alive into the grave, along with all their belongings. The earth closed over them, and they all vanished from among the people of Israel. Despite his failings, Moses was anointed by God and God was going to protect Him just like He had protected Saul and Barnabas. When God sends us out and anoints us to follow His lead, He LEADS AND PROTECTS!!

So if God is sending you, then answer yes and He will be with you all along the way. Because God anoints those He sends.

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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