Acts 13:49-52 49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Nowadays when someone is being a jerk, you probably shake your fist. You do it in disgust, frustration, and a few choice words… either out loud or in your head. But back in the day, apparently they shook their foot. They really did. Well, sort of. It’s not that they were shaking their foot at them. Rather they were shaking off even the dirt from the place that mistreated them. It was something that Jesus had taught them years earlier. He told them that if they were not received, to shake the dust off their feet and leave. He also told them to pack up peace and take it with them as they left.
What’s remarkable to me about this passage isn’t the fact that the word of the Lord spread. It isn’t that they were expelled from the region. It wasn’t even that they were filled with joy as they left. Even though the whole shaking your feet thing is quite interesting, it’s not where the power of today’s scripture lies. The power for me isn’t why they did it; it’s that they did it. Even after their teacher – their mentor – had left, they were still doing the things he told them to. Even after much time had gone by, they remembered his instructions and followed them.
It seems like we so often forget the things we learn. We read our Bible, get hit between the eyes with truth, and say we’ll never be the same. Then two weeks later we’ve forgotten it. We go to church and hear a sermon that is certain to transform our lives. Then a month later we can’t recall what was said. Why does this happen? How can we be like the disciples who were still doing what they were taught a long time later? The key – application. I’ll be more specific – instant application. We often take so long to “think about it” or “process the information” that we don’t ever end up doing anything. If we are going to have change take place in our lives we need to apply what has been taught as soon as possible. Then we need to keep doing it over and over until it sticks. That’s what happened to the disciples; they were doing in Acts what they had done so many times with Jesus. If we would do the same, we might find victory. We might find peace. We might even be able to shake our foot, er, fist at the devil. Take that!
*What is something that God has taught you that you haven’t got around to applying yet? Start applying it today!