Psalm 7-9 Acts 18
“During the night, the Lord told Paul in a vision: ‘Don’t be afraid. Continue talking to people and don’t be quiet. I am with you, and no one will hurt you because many of my people are in this city.’ Paul stayed there for a year and a half, teaching God’s word to the people.” (Acts 18:9-11)
Corinth was a city that had a reputation. It wasn’t a good one. It was situated on a narrow land bridge between the Ionian and the Aegean seas. It was a port city where sailors might transfer boats and cargo to avoid the trip around the Greek peninsula. There were a lot of sailors who passed through, and businesses sprung up to take care of the sailors’ needs. If there were any place less likely to be filled with God’s people than Corinth, we haven’t found it yet. Yet it was here that God told Paul to sign a long-term lease because He had many people in the city. Paul stayed there for a year and a half, surviving an attempt to kick him out when the proconsul brushed off the complaint the Jews brought against him.
When you think about modern pastorates, a year and a half isn’t that long. Paul was an itinerant missionary, though. His work enraged people so much that they ran him out of town on a regular basis. If Paul stayed in a place more than a month, that was a long time. The early Christian Church grew from leaders who rose up in that short a time. Corinth apparently needed more help. There were many of God’s people in the city. I wonder how many didn’t know that they were God’s people until Paul told them about Jesus. I wonder if Paul looked at the vice in this city and asked God to let him leave soon when God told him not to be afraid and continue proclaiming the gospel in this city. Have you ever asked God to move you out of some place? A house? A neighborhood? A job? A city? I have. Without going into details, God told me to stay put at that time. God has a purpose for putting us wherever we are. Our goal shouldn’t be to leave any place; our goal should always be to have the opportunity to be fruitful for God in the place He’s put us. The old cliché is that we’re supposed to bloom where we’re planted. He may leave you in place for a month, a year and a half, or many years. Our responsibility, as followers of Christ, is to share God’s love and grace wherever we are for as long as we’re there. If we do that, we can trust God to put us in the right place for the right time.
Lord, remind me that I’m called first to follow You. Let me be Your witness wherever You put me, for as long as You put me there.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved