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Rocking or rowing?

“But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.”Acts 13

Saint Paul became quite irritated and impatient with the one that was slowing down the good work. “GET OUT OF THE WAY”, is what Paul appears to be saying. He knew that this “sorcerer” wanted to hinder the gospel so he prayed that the man would be blinded for a while—- and it happened! It’s one of the few — if ever—-occurrences of a prophet or apostle praying about something bad to happen to someone else. But Paul was fed up; he had a job to do and this man was in the way of the salvation of lost souls.

Do you notice how the men in the book of Acts were bold? I have many friends in full-time Christian ministry, and I mean nothing unkind by this, but I don’t know many pastors with the fire and backbone of Paul and Peter. For the apostles, preaching the gospel was all that mattered. They did not care who was offended, cut off or upset. They put their very lives on the line to preach about Jesus Christ’s Lordship.

One of the greatest coaches of all time (in my opinion) was Vince Lombardi. But in leading his football teams to victory, he was relentless in his demands for excellence and a superior “mentality” of playing to win. From what I have read, he, like Paul, had a focus—-and it made him into a great coach and mentor. He wanted to win and he removed obstacles (and even star players) that stood in the way.

Saint Paul, Coach Lombardi, and anyone serious about their work/calling would tell you to: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way!” The older I get, the more I appreciate that counsel. So many folks seem to want to rock the boat rather than row the boat.

Are we dead serious about the gospel and the resurrected Christ? Are we sure—totally sure—of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit? Do we believe it! Then ask yourself this question: What causes you to get quite agitated and impatient?

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