Saturday, August 8, 2015

Use Your Faith

We continued our sailing, going from Tyre to Plotemais. There we greeted our fellow Christians  and spent a day with them. The next day we left and came to Caesarea. We went into the home of Phillip the evangelist, one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four married daughters who prophesied.

While we were staying there longer than we had expected, a prophet by the name of Agabus came down from Judea. He came to us, took Paul's belt, tied his own feet and hands, and said, "The Holy Spirit says, 'This is how the Jews in Jerusalem will tie the man this belt belongs to and hand him over to the non-Jews.'"

When we heard this, we and those living there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem.

Then Paul answered, "What are you doing - crying and making me weak in my purpose? I'm ready not only to be bound but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

When He would not be persuaded, we were silent and could only say, "The Lord's will be done."
Acts 21:7-14

Can you imagine how difficult this was for Paul? He knew that this was coming - the previous chapter was him saying goodbye to the believers in Ephesus, knowing that he would never see them again.

Paul knew what was going to happen. He KNEW. And it did not shake his resolve, it only strengthened it. He was not afraid, he was ready. But his friends weren't ready. They heard the prophesy, they knew what would happen IF he went to Jerusalem. But they didn't understand what was being said. This wasn't like the warning that Jonah gave to Nineveh, "Turn back or be destroyed!" This was different, it wasn't a warning to change paths, it was a heads up, a call for Paul to be ready.

Sometimes when we see hard times on the road ahead, we turn around. Our nature is to avoid the difficult things, the things that challenge us, that test our faith. We should not be turning away from those things. Its like when you hit a icy spot on the road, and you start to panic. You can yank the wheel around and try to escape, resulting in totaling loosing control of the situation. Or you steer into the skid, facing the problem directly. Trying to escape problems or tough situations often just makes things worse.

Guys, when we square off against what seems like an awful situation, that's when we can really trust God to be there. That's when our faith actually gets used. It's one thing to have faith, it's something completely different to use it. Use yours, don't just let it sit there.


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