Bless you! :) (no login) Posted Apr 10, 2010 5:45 AM
Paul was undoubtedly a man of radical obedience in the hard places, and his journey is intimately recorded by the Holy Spirit. And the next day we that were of Pauls company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Pauls girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. (Acts 21:811)
Agabus was not a false prophet. He was a well-meaning and compassionate man, who no doubt loved Paul dearly. But he saw hardship ahead for this beloved man of God.
Often when we think of people going into hard places, there is something in our heart that just wants to say, Dont go there. Why suffer hardship? We are all going to heaven anyway, right? Even Luke, who wrote the Book of Acts, includes himself among those who began pleading with Paul. And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done (Acts 21:1214).
There will always be well-meaning people along the journey who speak out of the empathy of the human heart. Those who besought Paul not to go to Jerusalem did have the word from the Lord, but they did not have the complete picture. In Acts 21:13, Paul responds to them, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? Paul is saying, I have a heart to follow and obey God, and with all of your pleading, do you intend to break that heart in me? Can you imagine if they had succeeded and their argument had prevailed over the leading of God in Pauls life? How spiritually poverty-stricken we would be today! We would not have the great revelations that the Holy Spirit was able to give to Paul while he was in prison, while he was going through hardship and difficulty.
* Foul words and unrelated topics will be deleted. *