The Holy Ghost Said
“The Holy Ghost said.”—Acts 13:2
He speaks. Oh that the Church of today would hear His voice! He is not an influence. He is a Person speaking. In this instance cited, He said, “Separate me Barnabas and Paul for the work whereunto I have called them” (verse 2). The work is in His hands and the men must be also.
The work is in His hands still, but where are the separated men? What a wealth of work waits to be done! The fields are white to harvest, but where are the reapers?
It is from just such group prayer meetings as this one mentioned in Acts 13 that the Holy Spirit speaks. Here were Barnabas and Simeon, Lucius and Manaen, also Paul. What a time they must have had as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, and the Holy Ghost melted their hearts and gave them a vision of a world in darkness! To such melted hearts, “The Holy Ghost said.”
It must have cost something for Lucius to be present, for he was the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, the murderer of John the Baptist. What a difference the sight of Jesus makes! Both boys, Herod and Lucius, were brought up under the same influence: one the murderer of God’s specially born witness: that “voice crying in the wilderness,” and the other boy, now a man, Lucius, a servant of Jesus, moved by the Holy Ghost laying his hand on Barnabas and Paul, sending them forth to tell the glad Gospel and backing them up in a faithful ministry of intercession. Is it any wonder that Paul and Barnabas went out to such a great ministry when these three men of the church of Antioch were of such faith that in their seasons of prayer the Holy Ghost could speak in no uncertain language. How simple it was later for the Spirit to be able to put upon these men a burden of prayer for Paul and Barnabas when the devil’s ranks were closing in on them! Remember Peter walked out of jail and into the very prayer meeting where he was being held up by faithful praying saints. The world’s method is a great conference to discuss how to do it. God’s method is a small prayer meeting, and “The Holy Ghost said.”
If the devil cannot beat the church of God in prayer, He cannot beat it anywhere, and if the church of God will go to prayer it can beat the devil anywhere.
There is little chance for the flesh in the small prayer meeting to display itself. It seeks the crowd and the spot light. But the saint who knows God loves the little group that grapples with powers and principalities and prevails in the all-conquering name of Jesus.
With the group of praying men behind Paul, and he “filled with the Holy Ghost,” is it any wonder that he could stand and rebuke the works of the devil in the sorcerer as he said, “Oh full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now behold the hand of the Lord is upon thee and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness, and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine (or teaching) of the Lord” (Acts 13:10–12).
This came about because “They”—this praying group—“ministered to the Lord and fasted” and “The Holy Ghost said.”
We need much of this ministering to the Lord, beloved. Let us ask God what He would have us do about it. No man need be seeking a new way for God to manifest His power and for the Holy Ghost to speak of sin, of righteousness and the judgment to come to a wicked world. The old way has always worked and will work today. The old way is “as they prayed.” The new way must be the same.
Suppose we try it in dead earnest. Suppose you ask a friend to join you at any convenient hour in the day or night, and you two suggest a third and maybe two more or so, and then wait on God.
The question is not, “Will it bring the power of hte Spirit to working?” That is assured.
There is only one question: Will I give myself to ministering to the Lord, and maybe fasting with it, if He so moves?
That is the only question. What do you say?