“…[various people] raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:50-52
I really felt impressed to write on this subject today and as I started reading one verse, God would lead me to another. From there thoughts have just filled my head about the truth these verses all bring together and how God calls His chosen people to walk amidst a world, which more and more each day, is rejecting the truth of the Word of God. From what I have pulled together I have been encouraged and empowered to keep my eyes forward and keep walking on the narrow path leading to life. I hope the truths I have to share with you today will be of an encouragement to you also.
The scripture verses I have highlighted above from Acts 13 comes after many Gentiles (non-Jews) came to faith in Christ Jesus. Yet, it was by the evil actions of the Jews of the region who did not accept the Gospel of Christ that Paul and Barnabas’ troubles began. Paul and Barnabas chose to do what Jesus commanded his original disciples to do when they encountered those who rejected the Gospel. Here is what Jesus said to those disciples: “And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.” (Matthew 10:14)
Do you know what dust is? Dust is the leftovers of things that once were and the things that still are. Dust is the remnants we leave behind in our lives that collect onto floors, hide in corners, blow in the wind, get into our eyes, cloud our vision, and sticks to all parts of our body. Isn’t that how the actions and reactions of us and others are also deposited into the mix of life? We all leave parts of us here and there by how we chose to act, what types of impressions we leave as we walk, what types of secrets we try to hide in the dark corners of our lives, what spirit we allow to blow us from one thing to another in our day, how we project ourselves to others – either clouding their vision or making it clearer, and in the end we leave parts of who we are with those we come in contact with.
For those encounters that are in line with God’s will we need to accept the dust we pick up and the dust we leave – dust can be useful to God’s purposes. But, the dust we pick up in places where there is no good attached to the dust particles, we must brush off and leave behind as quickly as we can. Why? Because being burdened with things that are not of God is not suitable for the saint.
Just think if Paul and Barnabas had not dusted off their feet and continued on, but rather had allowed the persecution which had arisen continue to distract them as they sought God and their next destination. The distraction this second type of dust brings allows thoughts of failure, thoughts that God was inadequate, and thoughts of doubt. Instead of focusing on your glorious Savior, your mind keeps getting bombarded by the dust of yesterday.
Do you have dust that needs to be shaken off today? If you do, shake it off and don’t look back. Your walk with the Lord could not be more light, free, and full of joy if you just follow Jesus’ command and trust in Him to deal with the dust that was left behind.