Dwell Day 10 Clearing The Clutter: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) Who are “they” in this passage?

2) What was the purpose of the “worshipping and fasting”?

3) What result came from their worship and fasting?

Acts 13:2

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Original Intent

1) Who are “they” in this passage?
To answer this question you have to go back to previous verses to set the context and understand who “they” are in this passage. As we read 13:1, we see there was a group of people that included “prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

2) What was the purpose of the “worshipping and fasting”?
In this verse, it does not give us a purpose for the fast, but it indicates that fasting was a regular habit of their worship as they joined with fellow believers in the church of Antioch. If we continue to read to verse 13:3, we see fasting again as Saul and Barnabas prepare to be sent out to the mission field. Fasting was habitual for the early church in every aspect of their communal living from the regular and ordinary to the big-mission-moments.

3) What result came from their worship and fasting?
The verse tells us that while they were in the middle of fasting and worshipping the Lord, the Holy Spirit spoke to them and called Barnabas and Saul to a specific mission. The posture of their hearts was ready and willing to hear and obey the Lord while they fasted and worshipped, and the Lord engaged deeply with them by setting Barnabas and Saul specifically apart. If we continue reading in Acts, we know they began a missionary journey to parts of what is modern day Turkey and around that region to plant churches, bringing the gospel to the lost. It’s no small thing to consider that such a weighty undertaking began while hearts were intentionally focused on prayer, worship, and fasting!

Everyday Application

1) Who are “they” in this passage?
It is important to know the context of a passage and who the people are in this historical account. As we read Scripture, we know that any follower of Christ has the ability to dwell in His presence through fasting and worshipping Him. These are not reserved for the disciples of old, but rather for all who follow Christ. He made a way for us to be intimate and personal with Him, enjoying the lavishness of His presence. He made a way for us to dwell in His presence by worshipping Him as Lord and Savior, both as individuals as well as in community with other brothers and sisters in Christ.

2) What was the purpose of the “worshipping and fasting”?
Fasting, as described by Wikipedia, means a willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both. In this context in Acts, that is exactly the type of fasting that was going on with the disciples. Today, there are so many things that clutter our life beyond food and drink that fasting from even one of them is an act of worship if done so with the right heart motivations. Removing something from our lives in the pursuit of deeper intimacy with God as we linger to dwell in His presence gives clarity and direction that would otherwise be lost because our time would have been spent elsewhere.

3) What result came from their worship and fasting?
Any amount of focused worship leads us to a closer relationship with the Lord. He desires us to love and worship Him with “all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27) There is no part of our lives that is untouched when Christ is the center of our worship and adoration. Out of worshipping and fasting Saul and Barnabas were set apart and called to do a special work. The work God does in us is different for each individual, but when we are worshipping Him, His desires become our desires and His will becomes our will. This is a beautiful gift!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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