“A church in the land without the Spirit is rather a curse than a blessing. If you have not the Spirit of God, Christian worker, remember that you stand in somebody else’s way; you are a fruitless tree standing where a fruitful tree might grow.” –Charles Spurgeon
Imagine the scene described in verses 1-2. Who is present (1)? Where were they (1)? What were they doing (2)? What did the Holy Spirit say (2)? How do you think they were able to hear from the Spirit? How did they discern whether what they heard was truly from the Lord (3)? Describe the way they sent off Barnabas and Saul (3). Why did they lay their hands on them? Where did Barnabas and Paul go (4-5)? Who led them there (4)? At what point do you think the Spirit revealed their destination? What did they do upon arrival (5)? Do you think that this or any other texts present a foolproof formula for discerning the Spirit’s voice? Why or why not?
Does the Holy Spirit speak to you through your thoughts, with visions, or in some other way? When He does not reveal every detail to your satisfaction, how do you proceed? Recall a time of corporate worship and prayer when the Holy Spirit spoke the same word to multiple people. What did this experience teach you about the Spirit’s activity in the church?
Are you ever reluctant to share with others what the Holy Spirit may be speaking to you? If so, consider God’s desire to use you to bless His church and pray for both boldness and humility during your next opportunity to share a word from the Lord.