Live it out!
Acts 21:11 “Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, ‘The Holy Spirit says, “In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.”’
Agabus acts out a prophetic message before Paul and the team. It is a demonstration of what will happen to Paul. This piece of theatre is not unusual in the biblical world of the prophet.
Isaiah took off his clothes and preached naked for 3 years.
Jeremiah hid his underwear under a rock and then after a long time went back for them! He also attached a cattle yoke to his shoulders for a season.
Hosea married a prostitute.
Ezekiel ate a scroll. He lay on his side for 390 days and then rolled over and repeated the action for a further 40 days.
It does make the actions of Agabus look quite normal!
But it is interesting that prophets acted out their messages. It was not because as some think that prophets are strange, off-the-wall kind of people. But at the centre of their lives is the core message that consumes their whole life. Their actions are the symbols for the truth.
The nudity of Isaiah was a sign that the Assyrians would make the Egyptian and Ethiopian prisoners march naked into captivity.
Jeremiahs soiled underwear shows God’s thoughts on the worthlessness of His people who went against His word.
Hosea’s marriage decision shows God’s relationship with unfaithful Israel.
Ezekiel laying on his side was to show the years of the nation’s sin, 390 years for Israel and 40 years for Judah.
The prophet lives out the word that is in their hearts, they are more than preachers. They show us this that the Word of God can so consume our lives that it disrupts our behaviours and transforms our actions.
And they did all of these actions because God told them to. The ultimate embodiment was that of the coming of Christ who is the Word of God made flesh. Just like the prophets Christ’s behaviour seems eccentric as he spits on people and throws mud in their eyes, casts demons into pigs and promises to rebuild the temple in 3 days to name a few.
We need to let the Bible overwhelm our lives. It is not a reading book, a text book, a study book. It is the Word of God. We need to demonstrate how totally life-changing the Word of God is. People need to see the message of God in us. Some will never read the Bible but they can read us. If the Spirit is leading then show this. “I’m just the messenger. Don’t shoot the messenger,” is not good enough. Be more than the messenger, be the message! Be Christ’s letter of love!