Paul and Barnabus were on a roll. People were coming to the Lord from all walks of life .Jews, Greeks were all coming forward and following the Gospel. The Jewish leaders and Greek religious leaders became angered and built-up resistance and tried to have the men tortured and killed. No worries, Paul and Barnabus moved on. They went to Lystra and were preaching when Paul connected with a man that had been crippled from birth. He told the man to stand up and the man did he was marching around healed. It was great, well it was until the people started worshipping Paul and Barnabus…
The men were doing what they were supposed to do and living like Christ. They were doing it for God’s glory, and He was blessing it. Then, as men will, the people quit worshipping God and started worshipping His messengers. It literally broke Paul and Barnabus’ hearts. They wanted no recognition or glory, they simply wanted to provide the Gospel to people so that they would worship God. They pleaded with the people to stop, but they would not hear of it.
This happens so much in our time as well. Great preachers set out to fulfill their Christ centered mission and are amazingly effective. Then as their message resonates, they become Rock stars. They do not set out to become celebrities, it is a simple by product of representing God effectively. Sadly, more times than not, this causes the preachers and evangelists to lose sight of the mission and begin to believe the HYPE. When that occurs, not only do they lose their effectiveness, but often they are destroyed.
The enemy loves the opportunity to set them on their own pedestals only to knock that pedestal out from under them at just the right time. We need to pray for our pastors and leaders. We need to help them to be effective but also pray that the enemy not be able to sift them like wheat. It is our prayers and support that will allow great men of God to be effective and unaffected by a world and church looking for Super heroes.
God Bless You
Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.[a] 3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. 5 When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, 6 they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, 7 and there they continued to preach the gospel.
Paul and Barnabas at Lystra
8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well,[b] 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds