Acts 17.16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols.”
Paul’s spirit was provoked because of the idols. He saw the deception and the lostness of the people of Athens. he observed they were worshipping idols of no life, no power and no hope. He was “provoked” which means his spirit was stirred up or stimulated with this stie. When is the last time righteousness and unrighteousness collided in your heart and our got a little or a lot provoked? I am provoked from this trip to Mexico where they are begging for a $1500 cement mixer to help build churches. It costs us more to out new bulbs in our overhead projector than that! I am provoked right now, bu my own selfish heart that is blessed a million times over compared to my brothers and colleagues in he Oaxaca, mountains that are trying to preach and pastor in areas steeped in a form of Catholicism and idol worship as well as the worship of ancestors . They walk hours to preach and visit people to witness for Christ.
I was provoked stepping into a church and seeing the idol worship, just like Paul in Athens. I wanted to scream, “There is a living Jesus who cares about you more than these idols in glass boxes!! The church there have little buildings most have none at all. I am provoked that we continue to beat in the hearts of people who have had the Gospel beat on them their whole life and they just keep rejecting Gods plans and His ways. These pastors are trying to reach 38 indigenous people groups with over 30 dialects of language spoken. Most of the mountains has not had an adequate witness of the Gospel of Christ. They are an unreached people group .
The Pastors are heroes!! They make almost no money, they receive no attention , accolades, or honor. Yet they continue, day after day, fulfilling the call of God to reach their people for Jesus. My spirit is very provoked, stirred, and broken. I think of Haiti, Mexico, India, Nepal, Inner Mongolia, the Arabian Peninsula, the muslims of Indonesia, the Horn of Africa and right now and thank God for those God has called there. We must support them in every way. We must be provoked by the lostness of our world and be moved, provoked, and compelled to do something about it. Whining about it won’t change anything. Do you feel provoked in your spirit about anything? Is it time to get provoked and compelled to holy action? Let me answer that…YES it is time. Let’s get provoked about lost people worshipping everything and anything but Jesus. “Provoke us Holy Spirit, provoke your church to action in this world.” When We are provoked the worst thing in the world we can do is nothing, and I am not into doing nothing. Who’s going to Mexico with me next year????