The bible is many things, but one of the things it is not is verbose! Often you find that complex or lengthy events are summarised in a simple sentence. An example of this is found in Acts 13. There the leaders of the church in Antioch had gathered together to pray. As they were worshipping, the Holy Spirit told them to set apart Paul and Barnabas and send them off on mission. As I have pictured that event in the past, I have often pictured Paul and Barnabas finishing their meeting that day by saying goodbye to the others and heading off to find a boat.
What it actually says is, “Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” When you think about it, it is obvious that there would be some time between receiving the call and actually setting off on their journey. For one thing, they would have needed to pack! In reality, a number of weeks would have passed before the others laid hands on them and sent them off.
The thing to do while waiting for God’s calling to take effect is to give yourself to pray.
This is a strange time for Steve and Jo and the family. God has called them to Woking so Steve can take over the leadership of the Coign Church. However, for now they are still with us and we get to enjoy their company and their ministry a little while longer – in fact until 30 April.
However, this was not idle time for Paul and Barnabas, nor for the whole church in Antioch, and neither should it be for us. They focussed their attention on praying and fasting. Always, the thing to do while waiting for God’s calling to take effect is to give yourself to pray. This is an important season in the life of Grace Church, as it is in the life of the Petch family. Let’s make prayer a top priority. Pray for the Petch’s, pray for us all in Grace Church, and pray for the mission that we are all a part of.