Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace
daily with those who happened to be there.
Fridays with the Apostle Paul
Paul is waiting for his fellow-workers to arrive from Berea, but he can't see the evidences of sin and brokenness in Athens without speaking up. Like Jeremiah centuries before, there's a fire inside that cannot be held back. When others
are drowning and you have what they need to be rescued, who could sit by and not step forward?
Maybe that's the best question for today. What "provokes" you? Any of us are provoked when we are mistreated, but the Christian doesn't rise to address his own mistreatment---at least Jesus never did. He saved His reactions for moments
when others were oppressed and treated wrongly. He didn't defend Himself, but He was quick to defend His Father's house and those who sought to worship there. He stood up for those without a voice and championed the cause of the neglected.
What provokes you? If you're more focused on standing up for your own rights, you're likely missing the plan of God for your life. Fix your eyes on a view beyond yourself for your heart will always follow your eyes. See beyond yourself
and then let your feet follow what breaks your heart. When you do, you'll find the life God has designed you to live.
---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
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