By Tyson Thorne

August 19, 2014

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Running for their lives, in Acts 14.8 we catch up with Barnabas and Paul in Lystra. Rather than going underground and covertly escaping their pursuers, once in the city they continued in their usual manner and boldly proclaimed the good news of Jesus the Messiah.


Barnabas and Paul made good use of the few days they had before those pursuing them made it to the city. While teaching people about the Messiah they came across a man lame from birth. He had been listening to Paul preaching nearby and believed the message. At the prompting of the Holy Spirit, Paul noticed the man and, seeing he had faith to be healed, ordered the man to stand. The man did so, and more. The lame man walked and jumped and ran for once again God’s healing had brought complete healing, making right all the man’s muscles, bones and ligaments.

What does it look like when someone has the faith to be healed? Perhaps only Jesus and the apostles can tell us. It appears, however, that this kind of sight may be a spiritual gift that accompanies the gift of healing, and that only presents when one is “full of the Holy Spirit.” Perhaps once full of the Spirit one sees what the Spirit see’s, even into the heart of a man. All I know is that both the acts of healing the lame in this book (the first healing was by Peter in Acts 3) involved an intense look at the person needing to be healed and speaking to them in a loud voice. Seeing the man as God see’s him, the apostles speak to these men as God would, firmly and loudly. Therefore the act of healing, seeing and speaking are all done through the Spirit.

Simon the Sorcerer was scolded and cursed by Peter when he tried to attain the gifts of God through bribery (Acts 8.9-.25), and so too we ought not to be envious of the way God’s Spirit empowered the apostles. There is nothing wrong, however, in praying that God would fill you with his presence and make you a force for his kingdom in your home, work and culture. Before praying this prayer, however, read tomorrows post on the cost that such a close relationship with God can have.


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