8 In Lystra there sat a man who couldn’t walk. He hadn’t been able to use his feet since the day he was born. 9 He listened as Paul spoke. Paul looked right at him. He saw that the man had faith to be healed. 10 So he called out, “Stand up on your feet!” Then the man jumped up and began to walk. 11 The crowd saw what Paul had done. They shouted in the Lycaonian language. “The gods have come down to us in human form!” they exclaimed. 12 They called Barnabas Zeus. Paul was the main speaker. So they called him Hermes. 13 Just outside the city was the temple of the god Zeus. The priest of Zeus brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates. He and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas. 14 But the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard about this. So they tore their clothes. They rushed out into the crowd. They shouted, 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We are only human, just like you. We are bringing you good news. Turn away from these worthless things. Turn to the living God. He is the one who made the heavens and the earth and the sea. He made everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 But he has given proof of what he is like. He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven. He gives you crops in their seasons. He provides you with plenty of food. He fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Paul and Barnabas told them all these things. But they had trouble keeping the crowd from offering sacrifices to them. 19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium. They won the crowd over to their side. They threw stones at Paul. They thought he was dead, so they dragged him out of the city. 20 The believers gathered around Paul. Then he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.
Paul & team having re-visited & encouraged the believers from his 1st journey, now look to move into new regions to bring the Gospel message. Interestingly, the Holy Spirit stops them twice from going into regions they logically thought would be the next area to go to. Without any hint of discouragement Paul keeps moving until the Holy Spirit gives him a dream as to where to go next to bring the hope of Jesus.
Here we see Paul keeping in prayer, keeping open, keeping listening and keeping moving. I think this is a great example of doing what we think is logical but also allowing space for God to come in with a far better plan. Paul didn’t give up, he kept going, knowing that God would show him. Am I open to allow God to come in to my plans? Am I open for the Holy Spirit to say no to what I think is the way to go? I don’t know how much time went by between verses 6 and 10 when Paul finally had the dream… could have been days, weeks, or months …. how long am I prepared to wait before I hear the Holy Spirit?
Lord, thank you for this great example to keep open to the Holy Spirit & listening in prayer, I want to allow you to come and shape my good ideas into the best plans for not only my life, but for those along the way to be touched and set free by the power of your love. Amen
Written by Suzie Hodgson