Acts 14:19-20 – And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
Paul and Barnabas had come to Lystra, and as it seems was a custom, a group of Jews were stirred up against Paul. On this occasion, they persuaded the people to stone Paul. So, they stoned him to death, drug him out of the city, and basically discarded his dead, broken, bloody body as little more than trash. If there had been any life in him, I am sure the disciples would have attempted some type of ministry to him, but all they did was stand around. Paul was dead. But as the disciples stood about, Paul got up. Something had happened here that we need to understand.
So how did this happen. It was all about faith and vision. Let’s look more closely. When Paul (Saul) was converted, Ananias had come to lay hands on him to receive his vision, receive Holy Ghost, and one more thing. It was the vision God gave him, showing him all the things he would suffer and what God intended him to do. When the event above took place, Paul had not fulfilled the vision God gave him; a vision Paul had completely taken to heart and which he wholly intended to fulfill.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul speaks of going to the third heaven, of seeing unmentionable things. It was from the meeting that Paul returned after this stoning in Lystra, this stoning in which he had actually died, retrieved a completely healed body, and went on to fulfill his vision. Here, dear reader, is commitment about which few people know anything at all. After being stoned to death in Lystra, and standing in the presence of the Lord, Paul made a decision. The “satisfied long life” of Psalm 91 had not been fulfilled, Paul still had vision to carry out, to fulfill. So, he chose to claim the promise and fulfill the vision the Lord had given him. That is when he “rose up, and came into the city.”
What is your vision? Do you plan to fulfill it? If God had given it to you, you don’t have to let go of it; you need to carry it out to completion. It’s waiting on you to be fulfilled. Death can’t stop you. Lock your faith onto the work before you, relinquish the care of it into the hands of the Lord, and go about the work at hand. Whatever you need to fulfill that vision, life, healing, deliverance, miracles; Father will provide through faith for the vision, the vision He has given you. That vision is precious, the work is needful, the victory is assured.
Manna for Today – Acts 14:19-23; 2 Corinthians 12; Acts 9:1-19