But the word of God grew and multiplied. And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark. Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
It is always a wonderful thing to mentor a younger believer in Christ. Whether it is a parent or grandparent mentoring a child, a sort of formal mentoring in the form of a skill or behavior, or a unique friendship that bonds two souls, mentoring is a blessing to both sides. Titus encourages the “aged” women to teach the young women. Since the Greek interpretation of “aged” is “old,” I continue to use lots of moisturizer while mentoring.
Barnabas and Saul finished their delivery of goods collected in Antioch for believers experiencing the famine (Acts 11:27-29). They return to Antioch from Jerusalem and bring with them John Mark (probably Barnabas’ nephew from Acts 12:12 and Colossians 4:10) to travel with them. Teachers and prophets Simeon, Lucius and Manaen join Saul and Barnabas to worship, pray and fast. The Spirit told them to set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work that he has called them. The men prayed and fasted more, then prayed over them and sent them out to do the Spirit’s work.
John Mark was able to witness the events surrounding this. Barnabas and Saul were worshipping with other godly men when the Spirit clearly called them to His ministry. Fasting was a big part of this decision as the men laid aside their own needs and desires to ask God for His desire for their lives. This was not a hasty decision. This was not a decision with detailed plans laid out. This was just a decision to follow the Spirit’s leading and then Barnabas and Saul took a step of faith and went, bringing John Mark along with them.
How do you handle the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life? Do you fast and pray so God can make it clear to you what His will is? Are you willing to follow without a detailed plan laid out for you? Do you realize that others are encouraged by your obedience to God?
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.
To contact Kaye Dee, leave a comment, message us on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.