Acts 13:1-13  Led by the Spirit!


What do you think of when you hear the phrase being Led by …..

A)Is this what comes to your mind – Child on a leash – being dragged unwilling by their parent.


B)Or how about this one – Dog that is leading it’s owner!

1)Who is walking Whom?


C)Or this one – The husband at the Mall – look at that face – No – not another store – look he is holding her purse.

1)Talk about being emasculated!


D)Being led by someone – means I am going to end up where I don’t want to be! –

1)doing something I don’t want to do!


Unfortunately that is how some pp think when it comes to the idea of being led by the Holy Spirit.

A)God is dragging me into places where I don’t want to be and dragging me  to do things that I don’t want to do!


B)Here is what I want you to Know! – God isn’t going to DRAG YOU ANYWHERE!


C)But if you follow Him – If you yield yourself to Him – He will take you to amazing places

D)Some of those places will even be hard and difficult –but in the midst of the difficulty and pressure – His Presence will be Strong!


E)We see a great example of that here in Acts 13

1)Title : Led by the Spirit



Acts 13 is a great picture of how the Church is to function, but also a great example for our lives as individuals.

A)What is involved in making ourselves individually ready to be led by the HS


B)Acts 13 records  a major shift that takes place in the Church!

1)Focus shifts from Jerusalem to Antioch,

2) from Peter to Paul!


C)This is the account of the first organized missions movement of the early Church.

1)We have Seen the Church Scattered – now we are going to see them SENT!



Background on the Church in Antioch : It Started in Acts 11 – Just some random no name believers went there sharing the gospel.

A)A host of pp got saved!


B)Apostles sent Barnabas to encourage – things continued to grow –

1)Barney said I need help – he went and found Paul.

2)Teaching there for over a year – Discipling this group


C)The Church in Antioch grew by leaps and bounds – both numerically and in maturity.

1)Acts 13 the Lord is going to begin to move in a new Direction – the HS is going to lead them into new territory!

                                     RD V.1-13


Notice three things from this passage we learn as a Church about how God leads. 

#1 Notice who is gathered at this meeting!

A)This is the Leadership of the Church – Elders – Prophets and teachers.


B)This church was amazingly Diverse. It included Barnabas, a native of Cyprus, { Son of Encouragement

1)and a black man named Simeon from present day Nigeria


C)…and Lucius of Cyrene…

1)How did Lucius get saved?


D)Possible I suggest Simon the Cyrene Cross-bearer went back to Cyrene, talked to his buddy Lucius, and together they started walking with the Lord, eventually becoming significant figures in ministry.

…and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch.…

A)Manaen was a foster-brother of Herod Antipas—the Herod who cut off John the Baptist’s head.


B)Talk about the grace and sovereignty of God! 1)Manaen grew up in Herod’s vile, polluted family—yet the Lord rescued him and saved him for ministry.


C)…and Saul the former Rabbi

1) This was the church staff at Antioch—a racially integrated group of guys!



#2 Notice what they are doing!

A)They ministered to the Lord….. fasting!


B)Ministered TO– not FOR! – We can spend a lot of time – doing ministry – serving – running around

1)Without ever ministering to the Lord


C)Great example Luke 10 Mary and Martha

1)Martha – distracted, worried, concerned, agitated,{ 2)No Joy – great indication – you are missing something – not ministering to!


D)Martha you are worried and troubled… many things – one thing is needed – Mary has chosen…….

1)Mary made a choice – to minister to Jesus – to sit at his feet.

Ministering to the Lord – involves worship!

A)It also involves being yielded! Surrender


R. Kent Hughes

“Worship and service go together and should never be separated. If we try to work for the Lord without worshiping him, we will settle for legalistic, self-centered service. And if we worship and never work, we will end up with a form of godliness but no power.”


B)Ministering to the Lord with fasting and praying – our leadership this week   Join us!

1){ The following week – two separate evenings – do it together!


#3 Notice what Happened V.2b – The Holy Spirit spoke:

A)How did He speak? – not told.


B)Jesus said this of the HS in John 16:13 – The HS will guide you.


C)Probably – the Lord gave one of these guys a word of Knowledge – this is what the Lord is saying – how He is moving!

1)The others guys confirmed it!



V.3 Says After more fasting – Lets be sure - they laid hands on them and sent them away!

A)The word sent here is actually released them.

B)I think that is worth noting – because think about who this was!

1)Barnabas and Paul – these were two of the Pillars of the Church.


C)They released them to go! They weren’t trying to hang on to them.


D)Often times Churches are eager to release trouble makers

1)I feel called to missions – Great – you can be someone else’s problem!



That is not what they were doing ! – They released their best to what the Lord was calling them to do!

A)This Church has always followed that model!

     Joey B – Myself


Aa) You think about the group of guys that we have released to follow God’s leading – Amazing!

1)Pastor Brian – wave in our movement!


B)This is a sending Church! – God designed it that way!


C)Some in our Church family have struggled with that – They get attached to guys – or their looking forward – to having their kids have this youth guy

1)Then he moves on!


D)But you think about the impact that this fellowship has made around the world – because of our willingness to release guys!

1)Yankees vs the Oakland A’s -  Bigger fruit here – but now elsewhere.


E)Train up – mature – Send out!

1)That is how I view ministry and we see from this passage that is very Biblical!



So as they were ministering to the Lord – the HS spoke to them to RELEASE out Barnabas and Saul.

A)Note as soon as they go out there is immediate opposition! – They enemy comes against them through this sorcerer.


B)When the spirit is leading – it doesn’t mean there is going to be smooth sailings

1)Quite the opposite – There will be opposition.


C)V.9 Paul is filled with the HS – Empowered - 

1)resulting in boldness to deal with it!


D)The power comes when – we step out in obedience to what the Lord is calling us to do!

1)Waiting on the  power – No step out – be obedient


E)God supplies us with Power to face the oppostion



R. Kent Hughes

 If some of the great Christians in the history of the church had aimed lower, they would not have experienced such an incredible variety of sorrows—and would not have been used mightily by God.


Note V.9  name change from Saul = requested one

to Paul = little.


He was used so mightily because of his humility.


So this is a great example for us of how the Church is to function! How decisions are made – ministry happens

A)But how does this apply to us as individuals – married couples – pp desiring the Lord to lead us and work in our lives.


B)What can we learn from this passage about being led by the Spirit in our individual walks and lives.


C)Again I want you to note three things!


#1 It starts with being Yielded!

A)They were ministering to the Lord – Hearts marked by praise!


B)Think of a King – His pp announce their allegiance – show their thanks!

1)Mark of being Yielded – surrendered


C)When you are Yielded to the HS you are inviting him to do what He wants to do in your life.

1)No matter the cost!


D)Not my will but your will!


Think for a minute about how the Lord called His disciples.

A)Fishing – Follow me fishers of men! – Didn’t drag

Invitation to a different kind of life.


Aa)Their Routine was fishing for fish! –Now he was inviting them to fish for men!

1)Break out of their comfort zones


B)New challenges – there would be difficulty – trials


C)Holy Spirit was given to shake up their lives even more!

1)Boldness to stand for Christ in the midst of Hatred – threats


D)They were called to proclaim a message that pp didn’t want to hear and some were ready to kill them to shut them up!


They were completely taken out of their comfort zones!

A)HS is called the comforter – no need for comfort if you are already comfortable. Right!


"God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through"
Francis Chan


B)They were broken out of their comfort zones –

1)Life full of a lot of hardship - but listen to what John said about that life


1 John 1:1-4

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life —  2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us —  3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.


C)Hear any regret?

1) There is a Joy even in the midst of difficulty being in the will of God!


D)You want to be led by the Holy Spirit you have to be willing to be yielded.



Some Christians get overly concerned about the long term will of God for their lives! – What does God have for me in the future?

A)So focused on that they become stagnate in the present!


B)Francis Chan Forgotten God: Great book

It is easy to use the phrase “God’s will for my life” as an excuse for inaction or even disobedience.


It’s much less demanding to think about God’s will for your future than it is to ask Him what He wants you to do in the next ten minutes. It’s safer to commit to following Him someday instead of this day.


To be honest, I believe part of the desire to “know God’s will for my life” is birthed in fear and results in paralysis. We are scared to make mistakes, so we fret over figuring out God’s will. We wonder what living according to His will would actually look and feel like, and we are scared to find out. We forget that we were never promised a twenty-year plan of action; instead God promises multiple times in Scripture never to leave us or forsake us.

God wants us to listen to His Spirit on a daily basis, and even throughout the day, as difficult and stretching moments arise, and in the midst of the mundane. My hope is that instead of searching for “God’s will for my life”, each of us would learn to seek hard after “the Spirit’s leading in my life today


“Vision is about what could be or should be, but life is about right this minute.”

A)Yielded – First trip to Yugo – no idea – what would happen – streets music


B)Young teenager – Share with her team the gospel

1)Class about the rapture.


C)Women in our Church – Uganda – women’s conference – Yes to go to Israel

1)Answered a call to do Childrens ministry – now are Pastors


D)Are you yielded ? Singing songs ? or Ministering to the Lord – offering – surrender


#2 They Heightened their spiritual sensitivity through fasting! 

A)Food fast – Deny myself food – Htn my spiritual awareness


B)Technology Fast – We are always multi tasking – so many things we are doing all the time.


C)Slow down – stop once and a while – set aside a day to give the Lord your undivided attention.


D)This week for me! { Off -


E)Crucify our flesh – put it to death – submission to Christ

#3 When God spoke they obeyed! – They released them.

A)The reason why many of us are not being led by the HS is when He speaks to our lives even in little areas – we are not being obedient in the little areas


B)Do what is next – take care of today!


C)Remember - Obedience will result in opposition but – the Lord meets us in Power!


D)Paul moves in Power and Boldness in dealing with the Sorcerer –

1)God works a miracle – Bar-Jesus is blinded


V.12 Interest me Luke didn’t say Sergius Paulus was astonished at the miracle that took place.

A)It helped lead to him believing – yes – but Luke says he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.


B)“You mean God loves me?” Sergius Paulus must have wondered in amazement.

1) “You mean He became a Man and died in my place?


C)You mean I can be forgiven and saved—made right and redeemed?”


D)That is astonishing ! Message of the Cross – of Redemption.


 When you open your heart to Jesus – the Bible says He comes to dwell there – thru faith – His spirit.

A)Walking in the Spirit begins with opening your heart to Jesus!


B)Opens the door for exciting – adventures – being led by God


C)Live in you- forgiven – restored – renewed

1)Purpose of existence – Know God!



Minister to the Lord right now!