We sometimes forget that Paul and Barnabus did not simply take off on a whim to change the World. Much preparation and prayer preceded the missionaries launch. In fact, scripture reminds us that the men were fasting and praying, including Manean a lifelong friend of Herod? God was at work in the Church. While they were praying, God told the men to send Paul and Barnabus on their way. So, they left taking Mark, the Gospel writer, with them.
When they arrived in Cypress, they started preaching in the synagogues. The leader of the area called for Paul and Barnabus to come and speak to Him about the Lord. There was a local false prophet that tried to stop them from speaking the truth. Paul called the false prophet out, and he became blind. It sent a reverence to the Proconsul and shut the false prophet down for good. Clearly, God’s spirit was large and in charge.
Nothing has changed. The Gospel is still being shared throughout the world. One can be sure that wherever God is having an impact; the enemy is fighting with all guns a blazin’ to shut it down. As our Lord’s witnesses, we need to speak the truth in Love to all that will listen. We can never expect that to happen without opposition or trial. We, like Paul, need to trust God and speak confidently knowing that the spirit will lead, guide, and protect those following His lead. We must never fear the enemy. He will come and will attempt to take charge–BUT, we know that greater is He who is within us, than he that is in the world!!!
God Bless You
Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger,[a] Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.