If we’re listening and learning from God, then we’re in a position to be able to act on His direction. But just because we’re in position to do so, doesn’t mean we actually will. We can always come up with an excuse as to why we can’t follow through. But that’s not the way God wants us. He wants us ready. He wants us motivated. He wants us ready to carry out our tasks and responsibilities as He gives them to us. In other words, He wants us to be like Barnabas:
Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. – Acts 4:36-37, NASB
This is the first time we’re introduced to Barnabas. But it’s not the last time we’ll see him. As a matter of fact, the next time we see him is in Acts 9:
When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. – Acts 9:26-27, NASB
Paul had accepted Christ and was now following through with his call to preach Jesus to any who would listen. But when Paul gets back to Jerusalem, the disciples are naturally fearful. This is the same guy who went Christian hunting and presided over Stephen’s death. So when Paul starts talking about Jesus, they suspect a trap. You can’t blame them. Then Barnabas makes his presence known. He gives testimony to how Paul was at Damascus. And that gives Paul the green light among the believers. Barnabas didn’t just talk about his faith, he acted on it. He gave freely when that was needed. And then he stood up for someone God had called because it was needed. Barnabas could have hemmed and hawed on the property and justified why he needed to keep it. Likewise, he could have looked at Paul and said to himself, “If God wants that man to break through, He’ll change the hearts of those listening.” That sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it? But that’s not what Barnabas did. He sold the land and brought the money. And then he stood up for a former persecutor of the faith, one who would resort to murder to get the job done. Barnabas was ready. And when the time came, he acted accordingly.
That’s what we’re supposed to be like. We all have trials, concerns, and complications. God has allowed those things to be a part of our lives because facing them and conquering them helps us to improve and get smarter. He knows what we face. But He wants us to keep looking ahead, ready to answer the call. He’s looking for folks who are eager to jump on the things of the Kingdom. That’s supposed to be you and me. Sometimes it’s scary. Sometimes it’s dangerous. But God would provide all our needs. We just need to have the faith that He knows what He’s doing. That’s what this really boils down to. Once we come to understand that, we can be like Barnabas, doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done.