so, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to seleucia, and from there they sailed to cyprus. when they arrived at salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the jews. and they had john to assist them.  [acts 13:4–5]


there is a natural response to the Holy Spirit’s prompting: action.

we see in the first 3 verses that the Holy Spirit instructs, and the apostles fast, pray, and commission barnabas and saul. verse 4 doesn’t say “and then they fasted and prayed some more just to make sure.” instead, we see 3 very specific actions in response to the instruction of the Holy Spirit:

  • they went
  • they arrived
  • they proclaimed

so often we overthink and over analyze when prompted by the Holy Spirit. i’m probably more guilty of this than anyone. i believe that there is a fear that we’re going to do the wrong thing, make a mistake, or embarrass ourselves if we’re not triple-sure of our calling.

there is wisdom in taking time to discern the prompting of the Holy Spirit. testing the spirits (promptings) is important as we see in 1 john 4:1-3:

“[1] beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. [2] by this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, [3] and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.”


if the prompting lines up with God’s word, then we act. and if it doesn’t, then we know it’s not from God.

God has given us his word to help us. as we spend time in his word and with him, his word gets written on our hearts and allows us to more easily test the spirits and in turn, obey his promptings.


may today be the day we stop over analyzing and simply say “yes Lord.”

God, make us sensitive to your Spirit. make us sensitive to your voice and your promptings. give us wisdom as we test the spirits, and embolden us to act as your ambassadors on your behalf.


~ john sandman