THE WILL OF GOD
Date: October 27
"And after some time Paul said to Barnabas, Come, let us go back and again visit and help and minister to the brethren in every town where we made known the message of the Lord, and see how they are getting along."
During Apostle Paul's ministry, he made three missionary journeys. Here we are reading about his second trip, which lasted from 49-52 AD (about three years). During his first journey, Paul often visited the synagogues first and would share the message of the Lord with them. Some of them would receive the message and become Christians, but some would oppose his teachings. So then he would go and preach to the Gentiles (non-Jews) and he would experience the same thing where some would believe the Gospel message. Eventually Christian churches were established in the various areas that he preached in. So here we read that Paul is returning back to those towns to visit the people because he wanted to see how they were getting along.
In this devotional, I want to point out to what it means to be in the will of God. Many people want to do great things for God but they often wait for God to tell them what to do. They often say, "I want to be in the will of God. God tell me what your will is." Then when they don't hear anything, they don't do anything. Sometimes people wait for God to specifically tell them what to do and in their waiting, they do nothing. That's not the will of God. Doing nothing is not the will of God for your life.
It says here, "And after some time Paul said to Barnabas, Come, let us go back and again visit and help and minister to the brethren in every town where we made known the message of the Lord, and see how they are getting along." It's really interesting to notice that Paul was the one who made the decision to go. It doesn't say here that Paul prayed and prayed and asked God whether or not he should go. This was completely Paul's decision. He wanted to go on a mission's trip so he asked Barnabas to come with him. Notice that Paul didn't wait for God to spell it out for him. He had a passion for preaching the Gospel and God was already within him and has commissioned him to preach. So he didn't have to ask God whether or not he should go on a mission's trip. He made that decision himself.
Then in verse 37 we read, "Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark [his near relative]." But on the first missionary journey, Mark was the one who had deserted them in Pamphylia and didn't go with them to do the work. So Paul didn't feel it was right to have him come along for the second trip (verse 38). Then in verse 39 we read that there was a sharp disagreement between Paul and Barnabas so they both separated from each other and went on separate trips. We read that Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. In verse 40 we read, "But Paul selected Silas and set out, being commended by the brethren to the grace (the favor and mercy) of the Lord." Then eventually as they were traveling, they met Timothy, and Paul invited Timothy to come along for the trip as well.
What's interesting to notice from this story is that Paul made all these decisions himself. He decided where he was going to go, when he was going to go, and with whom he was going to go. He didn't wait on God to tell him what to do. God already gave him the Holy Spirit and the commission to preach the Gospel. Paul already had the strength and wisdom that he needed, so all he had to do was make the decisions he needed to make.
Paul decided to go back to these towns to "visit and help and minister to the brethren." He didn't need to ask God if that was His will or not. He made the decision to go and God blessed him along the way. As you and I make choices to do things for God, He will lead us by His Holy Spirit and bless us as we bless others. God has given each and every one of us the equipping of the Holy Spirit. So now it's up to us to decide what we're going to do for the glory of God. That's what it means to walk in the will of God.