E100 Devotion – Day 79July 23, 2012
Reading: Acts 16-20
Paul not only knew the importance of missionary journeys, but also the importance of developing people while on the journey. Timothy, a teenager at the time, was only half Jewish on his mother’s side. He agreed to be circumcised but not to be a believer, but to be received in ministry by the Jews they were going to. This would give him credibility and influence.
Paul was wise in dealing with Timothy’s necessary development, not just as a believer, but as a minister. Ministry requires more sacrifice and becoming all things to all men in order to win them to the Lord.
Paul knew the importance of being led by the Spirit and flexible to the Spirit’s direction. They would head out with one direction in mind, only to be redirected. At the same time he realized that prayer greatly directed their journeys:
- They met the demon possessed girl (who Paul later delivered), on the way to prayer.
- They were miraculously delivered from prison after praying and worshipping God, leading to the salvation and water baptism of the Jailer and his whole household.
- Paul concluded his journey in Ephesus in prayer before moving on.
The more aggressive Paul became the more defensive his opposition reacted. He incited jealousy by his effectiveness, anger from the idol makers, fearing the coming loss of their livelihood, anger from other religious leaders fearing the loss or decline of their followers.
When falsely accused, Paul never took it personally, but instead saw it as an opportunity for God to move supernaturally on his behalf, with healings, miracles, signs and wonders.
What divine appointments could we miss if we become passive, prayerless, and take things personally when encountering opposition from others? Paul saw opposition, not as obstacles, but as opportunities. Though being warned prophetically about the opposition he would face in Rome, he remained determined to continue on in the offensive.
Today, determine that you will be on the offensive and relentless in your pursuit of God, looking for opposition opportunities.
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