“But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
Those who stood to lose much within the region banded together to have Paul and Barnabas thrown out, when they realized the message of God was gaining traction. The scriptures tell us that the prominent women and the chief men were responsible for this ousting. Rather than allow the injustice to sidetrack them into focusing on the unfair treatment they’d received, the bible tells us that Paul and Barnabas simply shook the “dust from their feet” and moved on to another location. Once there, their message was received openly and as a result, many disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
Paul and Barnabas never lost sight of the target. They were always about the business of preaching the message of God; the gospel of Jesus Christ and proclaiming just who Jesus is, to those unaware. Injustices and difficulties—although prominent during their mission—never really dissuaded them.
How many times have we been sidetracked by negative commentary? As creatives, how many times have we parked our passion just because someone said something negative about our work? How often do we procrastinate getting back to the business of our calling(s) due to fear of rejection?
Ooohhh, I’m speaking to somebody out there!
Paul and Barnabas didn’t allow the prominent people of the region to shut them down. They simply moved on to someplace else, and continued with their mission. And the results were huge!
We’re in a difficult season right now, people. We have been since early in the year. But, don’t allow the things going on around us to slow you down; to deflate you. Stay true to your purpose. As children of God, we should know what the greater purpose for our lives already is.
Paul and Barnabas would go on to see even more tumultuous times than this one incident in Antioch. Yet, each time they encountered resistance, they kept it movin’. Despite 2020’s best efforts to demoralize God’s children, we have to stand firm, even if that means picking ourselves up after a particularly nasty fall. We have to brush the dust, and keep our feet in motion. Forward always.