Pastor Robert Madu

I’m Annoyed

Scripture

Acts 16:16-24 (NIV)

“Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She  followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling  you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally, Paul became so annoyed that he  turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her. When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them  before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by  advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” The crowd joined in the attack against  Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the  stocks.”

Main Idea

In Acts 9, Paul was already converted and commissioned into his calling. In Acts 13, Paul had already begun his missionary journey. He went out with Barnabas and their assistant John Martin and they had a  successful trip. Afterward, Barnabas wanted to go on another missionary journey, but Paul didn’t want to go since Barnabas wanted to bring John Martin again who deserted them; therefore they went their separate ways. 

Paul now has someone new with him on his journey, Silas. They went to several cities and the churches grew in number daily. Since it was working well, Paul wanted to go to Asia, but the Holy Spirit forbade them from going to Asia (modern-day Turkey) and Bethania. 

Paul received a vision to go help a man in Macedonia and as they were sailing toward Macedonia, they pulled up to the shore and found a women’s bible study at the place of prayer. 

Paul preaches and a businesswoman named Lydia gets saved along with her entire family. She invites  them to her home and the next day he goes back to the Bible study and continues teaching and this  woman continuously yells out, “These men are servants of the Most High God!” 

While she was accurate, it was a demonic spirit. Finally, Paul cast out the spirit from her and caused the woman’s rulers to lose money and it led to Paul and Silas being taken to prison, chained, and beaten.  They were thrown into the inner prison and had no mobility of their legs or arms. 

They were imprisoned because of their obedience. They are in a dark place in the inner part of the prison.  Around midnight, they began to praise and worship God and then an earthquake came. 

Their praise caused not only their chains to loosen but all the prisoners’ chains to loosen. It was their mouths that got them in prison, but also their mouths that got them out of their chains. 

A guard had the responsibility to ensure none of the prisoners escaped. Paul and Silas stayed there to see this Roman guard almost commit suicide because he thought the prisoners escaped. But Paul stopped the guard and said we are all still here.

Based on the text, this is the first man Paul encountered. Remember Paul had a vision about the man who called out for help. Was this the man from the vision? 

The guard looked at him and asked how he could be saved. If that guard had killed himself, his entire family would not have been saved. A church would later be established in this location. If Paul had gone there, there would not be a book of Corinthians or Philippians.

POINT 1: Stick to the mission and the mandate that is on your life.

When the mission looks contradictory to what God said, stick to the mission. Give God permission to change what the vision looks like even when it looks different.

POINT 2: The kingdom is big enough to have division, but still have multiplication.

They split ways and the kingdom was still blessed. Disagreement is not always darkness and demons.

POINT 3: The Holy Spirit gives discernment.

Sometimes God directs us with a “no.” 

The holy spirit is not only for your empowerment but for your discernment. The Holy Spirit can close every door that we aren’t supposed to enter. God isn’t always going to give you a yes, sometimes he gives you a no. Sometimes you want the yes or no before you go. Sometimes the way God directs your life is through the no. God orders our steps and also orders our stops.

POINT 4: Be very careful what atmosphere you expose yourself to.

The enemy likes to wrap the truth, but it is wrapped with the spirit of the enemy. Just because someone quotes a scripture, it doesn’t mean it is from God. But God still has deliverance power to set you free. The enemy will try to pervert the calling on you for his kingdom. Allow God to take the scales off your eyes and be set free.

POINT 5: God sometimes does his best miracles in the dark. Midnight is dark but it is still a new day.

Just because you are in a dark place it doesn’t mean you disobeyed. God can still do things in a dark place. Don’t forget your praise. God does some of his best work in the dark. Even when you can’t see it,  can you give God your devotion? Devotion starts when God gets you in a situation and you are still praising! Don’t stop talking to God even if he has you in a dark place.

POINT 6: Every problem is viewed through the lens of my divine assignments.

Thank God for ordering my steps and my stops.

Questions

  1. What do you do when the vision seems contradictory to what you saw from God?
  2. How do you respond when the pain you are in is because you obeyed?
  3. What are you annoyed by, but assigned to?

Summary

I may be annoyed but I’m assigned. You are assigned to that family, job, or friend. Assignment gives perspective to the annoyances. There is something about looking at something through the lens of your purpose. It may not feel or look good, but if you look at it as a purpose then it will shift your perspective. 

All closed and locked doors don’t look like annoyances when you understand your assignment.

We are wondering whether we should do it or not because it doesn’t look comfortable. We think our comfort is a prerequisite for our call. 

Paul looked at everything through the lens of his purpose. Paul was beaten, shipwrecked, and distressed,  but looked at everything as purpose. Paul understood his assignment and many tried to stop him. Paul realized, I may be annoyed but I’m assigned.

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