(Read Acts 13:4-12)
This morning we continue our series “Grace that is Simply Amazing” by continuing to learn more about the amazing life of the Apostle Paul. Last week we left off with Saul and Barnabas heading off to Cyprus, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, to preach the gospel. I did not mention it before, but John Mark went with them as their assistant. I will speak more about John Mark later. This trip would later be known as Paul’s first missionary journey.
Arriving in Cyprus, in the town of Salamis, the ministry team wasted no time before heading for the closest Jewish synagogue to preach the word of God. Afterward they traveled from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus. The prefix “Bar” in someone’s name means son-of. So this sorcerer, whose name was Elymas, was also known as Bar-Jesus, because his father’s name was Jesus. Not our Jesus, but some other Jesus who had a boy who grew up to become a sorcerer.
Elymas the sorcerer had influence over the local governor, Sergius Paulus. When the governor invited Barnabas and Saul for a visit, Elymas told the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. The sorcerer was attempting to keep governor Paulus from believing. Saul, also known as Paul (I will talk more about his name later on the series), was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye. Paul then said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck blind. You will not see the sunlight for some time.” Instantly a sort of mist and darkness came over the sorcerer’s eyes, and he began groping around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him. When governor Paulus saw what had happened, he became a believer, for he was astonished at the teaching and power of the Lord.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. You have Grace for whatever is required. When you are pursuing your God-given purpose, don’t think the enemy is just going to sit around and watch you please God. Satan will do all he can to get you tired, frustrated, disillusioned, scared, and dismayed. If you are going to fulfill your purpose, you will have to be determined to overcome challenges when they arise. But don’t worry, if you are facing it, then it is evidence that God has prepared you for it and you have the Grace to overcome it. When Paul and Barnabas met with their first challenge on this first missionary journey, they faced it head-on. Paul provided the faith that tapped into God’s Grace, and satan’s power was no match for God’s. So no matter what you are facing today, remember, you have Grace for it. If you provide the faith, your faith will access God’s Grace and it will unleash His power.
2. The Supernatural is available by Grace. Elymas the sorcerer was tapping into the power of satan and I am sure he amazed many. He was so powerful that he had influence over the governor. However, once God led Paul and Barnabas to governor Paulus and Elymas attempted to get in the way, Elymas quickly learned that the power of darkness, while powerful, has no power over God’s light. Satan is no match for God; period. When Paul cursed Elymas and the sorcerer was struck blind, it was not Paul doing the work. Paul was led of God. Paul said what the Holy Spirit led him to say and God did the rest. It can happen the same way in your life. The Holy Spirit will lead you to say things that put you in a position to completely rely on God for the manifestation of it. In-and-of himself Paul had no power. But in Christ Paul had access to Supernatural power and so do you. God freely gives you access to the Supernatural, by Grace, so that you are equipped to accomplish His Kingdom plans and purposes in the earth. God has performed many Supernatural acts through me, and on every occasion, I know it is not about me, but simply about God and what He wants to accomplish in the earth. The Supernatural is available to you. If you are led of the Holy Spirit to make a demand on the Supernatural, do it. Your faith will access the Grace and Supernatural will be released through your life.
3. The Supernatural as a sign for unbelievers. People want to see power. Paul later wrote, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power” (1 Cor 2:4). When governor Paulus saw how Elymas the sorcerer was struck blind by the power of God, he quickly believed and was Born-Again. One of the reasons why God manifests His Supernatural power through us is so that unbelievers can believe. Remember, they don’t have the Holy Spirit. They are not spiritual people. They are not sensitive to what God is doing in the earth. They want to see power. They don’t want to hear a bunch of preaching, they want to see real power and God’s power is available to flow through you so that unbelievers could have no doubt that there is a real God, with real power, who can touch real people with real issues in real ways. If you will allow God, He will manifest His Supernatural power through you as a sign for unbelievers.
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for the example I see in the Apostle Paul. Paul was not timid, he was not afraid, and he did not back down from a challenge. Paul pursued his purpose with all his might, and when opposition came, he faced the opposition head-on. I am the same way. I pursue my purpose by faith and I refuse to allow any opposition, challenge, or even a setback, to keep me from arriving at Your desired destination for my life. Your Grace is available to me to access anything I need — from both the Supernatural and natural realms — to fulfill my purpose in the earth. Everything I need is available to me, I access it by faith and You release it by Grace. Understanding that, I don’t have a problem asking You for the Supernatural. There is nothing You cannot do, but there are many things I cannot do without You. So when You lead me to do something I clearly cannot do on my own, I don’t fret or cower away. I simply act in faith, believing that my faith will access Your Grace and You will provide the Supernatural. My life is not about me anymore. It is about You and Your Kingdom plans and purposes. Whatever You lead me to do, I am prepared to attempt it by faith, relying on You for the Grace to bring it to pass. Father, after reading about Paul and what You did through Him, I surrender myself to You completely. I am available for anything You need to do in, with or through my life. If you want to manifest Supernatural through me, as a sign for unbelievers, I am open to it and I shall provide the faith. As I exercise my faith, You release Your Grace and Your Supernatural power is manifested so unbelievers can see with their own eyes that there is a God who saves! Use me Father to bring the lost to You. I am available 24/7/365 and I am open to whatever You want to do through me. I am who I am by Your amazing Grace and Your Grace towards me shall not be in vain! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.