These five men who were leaders in the Church at Antioch were spending time Worshiping – praying and fasting. God speaks, and this prayer meeting becomes a major turning point for that local fellowship – for the Church of Jesus Christ – and extremely for the world. We can read the details in Acts Chapter 13 in the New Testament.
It is inspirational and would give anyone fresh motivational fervor to exercise their ministry wherever they are.
These five men knew when to say 'NO' and when to say 'YES'.
When a group of spiritually minded people meet to do business with God anything can happen.
Also, we need to be reminded that for some 10 years God has been dealing with Saul, resolving so many things in Saul's heart and mind and life.
For 10 years, Jesus Christ has been lovingly preparing Saul for this moment. Saul had not been forgotten or overlooked by God, nor does he forget or overlook us.
If Jesus has chosen you and called you, He will never forget you. He will come for you when the moment is right, and when you are fully prepared.
Totally unknown to these five worshiping and praying men, they are being used by Jesus to shape the future of The Church and to influence the world. They were involved in a big move of God, although I am sure they had no idea as to how significant this would be at that time. They co-operated with what God was doing. They obeyed what God was saying.
We too are involved in God moving in the world, perhaps much more than we realize or recognize. We too are called by Jesus to co-operate and obey.
Saul and Barnabas sail for Salamis in Cyprus, and they have young John Mark with them as an apprentice. This became the normal pattern. Two men go out together to minister, and they take a man with them so that he can observe and learn from the more mature men of God. This is how we learn to minister.
We can learn some things in the Colleges and Universities, but normally we only begin to learn how to minister in the love of Jesus and in the power of The Holy Spirit as we watch and come alongside others.
They went into the Jewish synagogues first, and proclaimed The Word of God. Barnabas and Saul looked for the synagogues. They looked for places of worship, where at least the people believed in God, and where they people knew something about God.
They would speak to these people about Jesus the Messiah – the Christ – the Son of God – Who came and died and shed His Blood on The Cross to wash away the sins of men and women. They would preach that this same Jesus is Risen and Alive, and able to do all this today, for all who will believe.
They preached the Word of God. They did not go with any plans for new churches. They had no idea what would happen, but they believed that something was going to happen, and they were prepared to leave that up to Jesus, to do whatever He wanted to do. Their work was simply to preach the Word of God.
In one sense they were like message boys. When I was a message boy, man years ago, it was my job to deliver whatever the customers had ordered. It was not my task to change what they had requested. My role was to deliver the messages – the groceries – without changing potatoes for strawberries or anything of that nature.
That is what Paul and Barnabas did everywhere they traveled and preached. They delivered the Word God keep them just as Jesus Christ preached and taught the Word which God the Father possessed Him.
It is not our job to change what God desires to be preached and taught – and that is a lesson the Church must learn in these present times.