Sunday 21 August, 2016

ACTS 21:7-16

7 Continuing on from Tyre, we landed at Ptolemais. There we greeted the brothers and sisters. We stayed with them for a day. 8 The next day we left and arrived at Caesarea. We stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist. He was one of the seven deacons. 9 He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. 10 We stayed there several days. Then a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 He came over to us. Then he took Paul’s belt and tied his own hands and feet with it. He said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘This is how the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will tie up the owner of this belt. They will hand him over to the Gentiles.’ ” 12 When we heard this, we all begged Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 He asked, “Why are you crying? Why are you breaking my heart? I’m ready to be put in prison. In fact, I’m ready to die in Jerusalem for the Lord Jesus.” 14 We couldn’t change his mind. So we gave up. We said, “May what the Lord wants to happen be done.” 15 After this, we started on our way to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the believers from Caesarea went with us. They brought us to Mnason’s home. We were supposed to stay there. Mnason was from Cyprus. He was one of the first believers.

Two different times in v9 and in v16, Paul received prophecy regarding his journeys. In v12 the people told Paul not to go to Jerusalem because it was dangerous. Paul had been warning he would have trouble, that when they came, they wouldn’t surprise or terrify him. The Christians began to weep urged him not to go to Jerusalem. Paul asked them not to break his heart; his resolve began to weaken, but then he said “has not Jesus told us to take up our cross?” It troubled him that they should urge him to not obey the words of the Holy Spirit.

Although their human thinking was understandable, even logical, it wasn’t of God. They knew as much when they recognised Paul’s resolve to go to Jerusalem, despite the danger as the will of the Lord. It is easy to do – and a source of trouble – when we “add our bit” to what God may be saying, often thinking that it is also from the Lord.
It’s easy to say “I don’t understand why you have to go wherever when there are plenty of people here that need help.”

It is just as dangerous to stay where you are, when it is not in the will of God. It’s best to go wherever God tells you, when you are in His will, you are safe in Him.

Written by Cathy Croft

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