1 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, 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.
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.
Daring Faith is not impulsive. Daring faith comes from our relationship with God. We need time to listen to His words, not just read them from the Bible. Here the disciples, listen to God’s words through prayer. Yes, prayer is not just telling God what we want but also listening to His words and instructions. Listening to God’s words requires a pure and quiet heart. The disciples put down everything, including eating, to seek God’s words. Dear, I pray that you also have a quiet heart, a quiet environment, and time to listen to Him.
There is time to listen to God’s words, there is time to take action. This is a balance we have to learn. Sometimes people spend too little time listening to God’s words, they may not be clear on His plan, and when they try to serve God, they may not know what to do and when they encounter challenges, they may give up. Sometimes people spend too much time, just sitting there hoping God with giving them more instructions, they wait and wait, hoping to have the confidence to do His work but eventually nothing was done because they have just sat there.
When I first came to the United States to start the church in Sacramento, we prayed a lot (for about a month). When we were cleared that God wanted us to start in Sacramento, we flew across the Pacific Ocean to start the work here. Not every step was smooth but because in our prayers, we have the confidence that it was God’s will for us to start in Sacramento, we persevere. Today, the Sacramento Church has been firmly established and branched out to many other US cities and even overseas.