The Holy Spirit said ...
One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. -Acts 13:2-4 NLT
These verses introduce us to Paul’s first missionary journey. He was sent out with Barnabas and Mark about ten years after he met the Lord on the road to Damascus. The trip would last a few years and would test him in ways that he could not have known. Mark would desert him. In Lystra he would miraculously heal a man then later be stoned and left for dead. Laying there he had to be wondering if this was part of the work that the Spirit had called him to.
I guess we all want our spiritual call to be all about miracles and healings. No one wants to think that hardship (that seems such a severe mischaracterization of being stoned) is a part of the special work that we are called to. I think that Paul might have given up if he did not understand, along with the men who laid their hands on him in prayer, that it was not man but the Holy Spirit who had called him. Perhaps we would do well to know that as well?
Thank you Holy Spirit that you have called us and equipped us for every good work. Teach us to be faithful.