We’re on ACTS chapter 18 today… here are some valuable Spiritual Living thoughts from Traci Watson, one of the pastors in our Hammersmith congregation:
Spiritual Living says NO
I sometimes have hard time saying no. Do you? Letting someone step in and learn how to do a task that I can do in my sleep will mean the task will take much longer and probably not be done correctly. And what if they change the way I’ve been doing it completely? I mean what will people think?!
Paul’s example teaches us a timely lesson in Acts Chapter 18: The fact that a need exists does not mean God has called me to meet that need.
Paul visited quite a few synagogues on his journeys and came up against serious confrontation almost every time. On this particular journey Paul goes to the synagogue in Ephesus and much to his surprise they give him a warm reception and ask him to stay longer!
This time, however, Paul declines. He says NO. He goes on with his journey to Antioch.
I’m sure that Paul must have been excited about the Jews wanting him to stay – finally he would not only have the privilege of seeing the Gentiles receive the gospel but he would get to see some of his own people come to know Christ. BUT Paul was not driven by his own desires, he had surrendered his life to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and he firmly and lovingly said no in Acts 18:20.
As Paul obediently leaves we see that a Jew named Apollos came to Ephesus. He was a powerful, passionate preacher with a thorough knowledge of scripture. When Paul left, he may not have known it, but the void left an opening for this young preacher.
When we can’t say no even when God does not give His approval, two unfortunate things can happen: we don’t do a good job and we don’t leave an opening for God’s chosen person to fill.
When we are obedient to step aside God can do incredible things. He will move us into the next stage of our journey and He will move those who follow us into their next exciting step.
During my time here in London I have seen those that I have mentored do more amazing things and bring in way more fruit than I have – once I got out of the way :). Can anyone relate?
As we continue our Spiritual Living let’s make sure we are being sensitive to Holy Spirit when we need to say no and step aside.
Do your YES, and make room for others to do your NO…