“So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium.” Acts 13:51
Paul and Barnabas had been traveling around preaching the gospel message to the people of different cities. In one of the cities, the Jewish leaders of the temple stirred up the people against them. The leaders did not want the gospel message preached. They wanted to stay with the traditional ways of the temple with the Law of Moses. Paul and Barnabas pointed out that they were sent to all people. They then dust off their feet and move on to another city.
The dusting off of the feet is a symbol that they did not want any responsibility with the people there. They were saying that they had tried and were rejected and so the people of that city were left on their own.
If you are willing to tell everyone and anyone about Jesus, there will come a time when some will reject your message. They will try to run you out of the area. Some believers will take that personally and try to fight back. Debates will rise and discussions will never end. The focus will change from being saved to something else. It will lead to a dead-end of no value.
Paul chose to not have anything to do with the people. He let them go. The Holy Spirit was probably guiding them in this action, though the Bible does not give that information.
There comes a time when someone is witnessing to a person, that you must stop trying and move on to someone else. Allow God to bring someone else into their path to be a witness. You have done all you can do. It is time to move on.
Do not allow yourself to get trapped into endless debates and arguments with a non-believer. There is still hope for every person, but it may not finish through you. You may have just planted the seed, it will be someone else who has to water it, and God has to make it grow in the person. You do not have to be the one to do all the steps.
Allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide you as to when to speak about Jesus to someone and when to be quiet and move on. Be willing to move on when needed to, someone else needs to hear about Jesus that is open to it.
I pray today that you will be led by the Holy Spirit in your witnessing; that you will not be trapped in worthless debates; that God will use you to reach many people for Jesus; and that God will strengthen you to be His witness.