But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders ~ Acts 14:2-3
The pattern of the establishment Jews persecuting believers continues as Paul and Barnabas share the Gospel at Iconium. Here, so many Jews and Gentiles respond that the Jews who refuse to believe begin to “poison the minds” of the Gentiles thus dividing the city. Guided by the Holy Spirit, with their words backed up by signs and wonders, the apostles preach on as more and more people come to faith. Perhaps feeling a bit desperate, a plot is launched to have Paul and Barnabas stoned. They learn of the plot, so they left to preach elsewhere.
Notice the work of the Holy Spirit? Paul and Barnabas are guided to a destination, given powerful words supported by signs and wonders, warned of a plot against their lives, and guided to leave. Through all of that, many Jews and Gentiles come to faith in Jesus Christ. We see no signs of fear on the part of the apostles, although they would have had good reason to be afraid for their lives. Trusting completely in God, they press on.
When we honor God by doing His will in our lives, the Holy Spirit will guide us as well. He will give us a path, He will bless our actions, and He will protect us. A favorite promise from God through the prophet Isaiah comes to mind:
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” ~ Isaiah 30:20-21
We must seek His voice. He will show us the way He wants us to go, and in seeking and doing His will we will be blessed indeed.
Ponder this: Am I doing what God wants me to do?
My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gift me with the Holy Spirit and give me the desire and courage to seek and follow Your will. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.