“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.”
It says in the verse above that Paul’s “spirit was stirred in him.” The word “stirred” means to be disturbed. In other words, what he saw stirred or disturbed his spirit because of the people and their lack of a Saviour. He saw this city was given or committed to their idolatry, and it stirred them because they were so committed to something that would send them to Hell.
This reminds me of another time in the Scriptures when someone was moved. Matthew 9:36 says, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” The word “moved” and the word “stirred” carry the same definition in that they both disturbed the individual by what they saw. Paul was stirred because a city was given to idolatry, and Jesus was moved because he saw the multitudes scattered and without a shepherd to lead them.
I am afraid that too many believers have never been moved or stirred the same way that Paul and Jesus were. Oh, many believers are stirred, but they are stirred because of their finances, politics and sports. One of the greatest reasons churches are floundering today is because of so many believers who fill the pews who are never stirred or moved by what is going on around them. They live in their own little world, and they never want the peace of their world to be disturbed. Being stirred or moved will cause you to do several things.
First, you will never be stirred or moved if you live for yourself. Both Paul and Jesus were stirred and moved because their eyes were not inward focused, but they were stirred and moved because they had an outward focus. An inward focused believer will never be stirred by the greatest need of the world, and that need is a Saviour. As long as you live for yourself, you will never be stirred or moved to do anything for the LORD. In fact, it will be laborious to do anything for the LORD as long as you are inward focused.
Second, you must get among the people and see their needs if you are going to be stirred and moved. Both Paul and Jesus were among the crowds and multitudes when they saw the need that moved and stirred them. It is hard to be stirred for the needs of the world when the only world you see and live in is your world. When you go soul winning or visit a bus route, you will see the needs the same way that Paul and Jesus did. You cannot see the needs to be moved or stirred if you are not with the ones who will cause the stirring and moving. Once you see what sin has done and is doing to a world, you will find your heart will be stirred and moved.
Third, being stirred and moved always leads to action. You will find that it won’t be hard to be a soul winner once you are stirred or moved. You will find that it won’t be hard to give up your weekends to reach the lost once you are stirred and moved. You will find that the things that once used to take your time will lose their glamour when you see the needs of the multitudes that stir and move you.
Let me ask you, what stirs or moves you? My friend, there is a world that is in need of a Saviour, and the one thing they need are believers who are stirred and moved to reach them with the Gospel.