Sermon Illustrations

And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting (they were in touch with God), the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Acts 13:2

The Holy Spirit said, “Separate for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I (the Spirit) have called them.” This opens up something we need to talk about. The Spirit of God calls Christians to places of service, and equips them to fulfill that responsibility for which they have been called to serve. It is called gifts.

Please notice that they didn’t hear the call until they were ministering to the Lord. To put it another way, God only hits a moving target. You can’t stand still and be led, because people standing still don’t move. People sit back and wait for this thunder from heaven to hit them so the Lord can lead them to where they ought to go.

They pray prayers like, “Lead me.” No. They were ministering to the Lord—that’s when they heard the Holy Spirit. You cannot be doing nothing and then expect the Spirit to lead you. He only leads you when you’re obeying and ministering to Him. You do not get this jolt from heaven unless you’re first ministering to the Lord. Do what you know you should be doing under God, and the Holy Spirit takes you where you don’t know; He takes you to the next step. If you’re not moving at all, don’t worry about it. You can’t be led.

It’s like causing your brother to stumble. You can’t cause someone to stumble who is not moving, because you can’t trip if you’re standing still. The idea is to be moving so that you can be led.