And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.
Every once in a while the enemy seeks to tempt us with pride. This is probably the most dangerous temptation of all. It is subtle. It is enjoyable. Our flesh wants it. Pride is so powerful that Satan tempted the Lord Jesus Christ with it when He was at His physical weakest of being tempted for 40 days.
In Lystra, Paul and Barnabas meet a man crippled from birth. This man didn’t cry out or make a scene; instead, he was quietly and intently listening to Paul. Paul perceived that the man had faith to believe and commanded him to stand up. Scripture said that crippled man leaped or sprang. Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a few sprained ankles in my time and there was no leaping or springing that happened. That was amazing faith! It was so stunning that the people declared Paul and Barnabas gods and brought animals to sacrifice to them. Paul and Barnabas were so upset that they tore off their clothes (a sign of deep despair) and begged the crowds to stop. They declared that God should receive all the glory. Even then, they could hardly restrain the crowd from worshipping them.
Again, God allowed this to happen. Talk about a change of difficulties for Paul and Barnabas! One city wants to stone them, the next wants to worship them. Beware of pride, it will destroy you. Are you giving all glory to God? Or are you reserving some for yourself?
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.
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