“Now there were these prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen (a close friend of Herod the tetrarch from childhood) and Saul. While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” – Acts 13:1-2
Notice the make-up of people involved in the leadership of the church of Antioch. It first mentions Prophets and teachers, then the names of a couple of apostles are thrown in. It is a beautiful thing when there are a variety of gifts operating in unison. It takes humility, love and grace.
They were serving the Lord and fasting. What does it mean to serve the Lord? We often think of preaching, teaching, or feeding the homeless. What if it meant they were sitting before the Holy Spirit, listening to His voice? We know that they were fasting and they in unison heard the voice of the Holy Spirit saying, “Set apart Barnabas and Saul.”
Out of the fasting came the sending out. Oh that God’s people would fast today like they did throughout the Bible. It seems almost common among those who encounter God in significant ways. God often speaks louder when His people fast. Or, maybe we hear better when we fast.