And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother's womb, who had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice,
"Stand up straight on your feet!" And he leaped and walked. Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!" And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul,
Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.
But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, "Men, why are you doing these things?
Fridays with the Apostle Paul
One of the great challenges of experiencing God's presence and power is how we will respond when people see us differently because of what God has done. Here, the people of Lystra have seen an amazing miracle and they respond by glorifying Paul and Barnabas.
After all, look at what they have done.
What a trap! Now, these two servants of God react quickly and rightly in attempting to redirect the praise of the people. But this moment can face any follower of Christ. When God demonstrates His love and power through us, we can find ourselves elevated
in the minds of those who have received His goodness. They may not bow before us (that seems like an unlikely response), but they may praise us or applaud our ministry efforts.
How will we respond? Can we maintain an awareness of our own unrighteousness and our complete inability to give what God has given?
You can learn a lot about someone by watching how they act in difficult times and you can learn a lot about them in moments where their efforts are applauded.
---Dr. Mike Clarensau serves as Senior Director of the Healthy Church Network
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National Men's Ministries
General Council of the Assemblies of God
1445 N Boonville Ave.
Springfield, MO 65802-1894