If you are a Christ-follower, I’m confident in saying that you have felt the stirring of the Holy Spirit before. It’s what brought you to repentance; what causes you to seek Him out regularly.
This stirring, this drawing, is one of the assurances of the Holy Spirit that we are truly part of God’s family.
But what about in your work? In your daily life?
What bearing does this verse have on us beyond salvation and our prayer time?
"He Saw that the City was Full of Idols..."
“He saw that the city was full of idols.” Paul looked around the place where he was at and saw a town completely void of worshipping the one true God. From the very beginning of Saul’s encounter with God, we quickly see his one purpose and mission in life: to declare the deity of Jesus Christ and the hope of the gospel to all.
As Christ-Followers, this is the heart of why we are here: to spread the gospel and declare the life-giving truth that Jesus Christ is Lord. The reality is that even though we live 2000+ years after Paul, nothing is different in our time. Wherever God has put us, there are “idols. These may be physical idols, but more often than not they are emotional idols, idols of the heart, idols which promise “life” only offer to deliver “death.” Whether we are nurses, stay-at-home pastor’s wives, dental hygienists, social workers, or real estate brokers, in all that we do, our purpose should remain steadfast and clear: share Jesus Christ right where we are.
While He Was Waiting...
Did you catch it? When does Paul see the place around him? “While he was waiting…” –while he was actually waiting to do something else. I never want to over-spiritualize something, however, in this particular case I don’t think it’s an overstatement to notice this.
When you are in a time of waiting, what is your posture? Are you focused on what’s coming next? Are you spending your mental and emotional energy thinking about when Event A is coming? Imagining how life will be once Event A gets here. Thinking about the pictures you can share after Event A finally arrives? Imagining Event A bringing that deep satisfaction and that long-awaited joy?
Maybe when you are waiting, you spend your time recounting the past. Thinking about the way you thought it would be right now. Spending your emotional and mental energy angry with God, disappointed that He let you down and didn’t do something you wanted or hoped for. Maybe you feel forgotten and alone and thus, withdraw from the very presence of God. When we spend our time in any place other than the present, we lose sight of the place God has called us to now.
The Alternative Waiting Posture
Instead of being lost in his time and place, Paul “reasoned…with the Jews…in the synagogues and marketplace everyday…with those who happened to be there.” (vs. 17) If Paul had lived in another time and place mentally and emotionally, he would never have reached out and walked out his purpose and message God was calling him to at that time. He would have missed the opportunity to serve those God had prepared beforehand especially for Paul!
Instead, Paul chose to spend his energies and time telling the people who were there the message God had given him to share.
So I ask myself and I ask you, Sister, where is your focus today? Is it in the future? In the past? Who might God be calling you to serve right here today and how can you be faithful in that?