“Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem. But Paul and Barnabas traveled inland to Antioch of Pisidia. On the Sabbath they went to the synagogue for the services.” Acts 13:13-14 (NLT)
When I first became a born again Christian, the opportunity of a lifetime to serve came about. I leapt to the occasion without a second thought. Then, just a week prior to the start of the project, God’s Spirit rose up within me and clearly told me to walk away. No reasons were given – just a clear command from God.
In some ways, this is similar to the untold story of Mark. Mark was on a journey that was the opportunity of a lifetime — serving alongside Paul and Barnabas while they were literally changing the world. Then, out of nowhere, Mark announces he will return to Jerusalem and not continue on with the mission.
Many have speculated as to why Mark left, but several facts remain clear:
- Luke left out a description as to why Mark left.
- Some supported Mark (such as Barnabas), while others were angry and disappointed (such as Paul).
- Mark would later go on another mission with Barnabas and become a respected leader in the Church.
- Mark would later write the Gospel of Mark.
God clearly had a plan for Mark, as He does for all of us. To be Spirit-led, we are to follow His lead. This can sometimes cause dissension, as it did with Mark, and as it did when I decided not to go ahead with what seemed like a wonderful ministry opportunity. However, we must have faith in God’s guidance. Only God knows the roads we must go on to truly be His hands and feet in the world.
Lord, we love to be in control, and we like to think we know how best to serve you. Help us not to fight against paths that you would have us take. Give us the strength to have faith that you will never forsake us or lead us astray. Help us to truly be Spirit-led. Amen.