While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul.” (Acts 13:2)
I have family members who are good at acting like they are listening. I can talk about almost anything, but if their nose is in a book or a phone, often they will not hear me. Sometimes, I will pause and say something like: “Did you know that your hair is burning?” The response: “Really?” So frustrating! That is when I get their attention and tell them to listen; I have something I need them to hear. Until they get their minds on listening, I am wasting my time.
The church at Antioch became the central hub for ministry to the gentiles but did not have a clear word from God on who should lead the effort. But while “worshiping the Lord and fasting,” the Holy Spirit told the early believers to set aside Barnabas and Saul. They fasted some more, prayed, and showed their affirmation and support by placing their hands on them, putting themselves in the posture to hear God. He responded with a clear message on how to move forward.
Sometimes, hearing God’s voice is tricky. We desperately need direction, but he seems silent. Perhaps we need to change our posture, turn to him in worship and prayer, and be still so we can really listen. Expect to hear his voice, and remember that while God always speaks, listening is up to us.
Listen for God’s voice.
Roland E. Cavanaugh is a former pastor and current chaplain of Providence Place Senior Health and Rehabilitation (NC). He enjoys reading, writing, and nature.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.