Let the will of the Lord be done!
Walking through the Book of Acts • Sermon • Submitted
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Let the will of the Lord be done!
Let the will of the Lord be done!
Let the will of the Lord be done
, And when we had parted from them and set sail, we came by a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. And having found a ship crossing to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left we sailed to Syria and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload its cargo. And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home. When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for one day. On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”After these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, bringing us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge.
And when we had parted from them and set sail, we came by a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. And having found a ship crossing to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left we sailed to Syria and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload its cargo. And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home.
When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for one day. On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”
After these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, bringing us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge.
, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
This verse comes from a longer section of Scripture that proclaims the power and security of God. While the threat the psalmist faced is not mentioned specifically, it seems to relate to the pagan nations and a call for God to end the raging war. Here is the whole psalm:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Notice that the majority of the psalm is written in the third person as the psalmist speaks about God. However, God’s voice comes through in verse 10, and the Lord speaks in the first person: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Be still. This is a call for those involved in the war to stop fighting, to be still. The word still is a translation of the Hebrew word rapa, meaning “to slacken, let down, or cease.” In some instances, the word carries the idea of “to drop, be weak, or faint.” It connotes two people fighting until someone separates them and makes them drop their weapons. It is only after the fighting has stopped that the warriors can acknowledge their trust in God. Christians often interpret the command to “be still” as “to be quiet in God’s presence.” It is only then that they can say to one another, ‘let the will of the Lord be done!”
While quietness is certainly helpful, the phrase means to stop frantic activity, to let go and let God and to be still. For if God’s people would be “still” it would mean that they were looking and relying on the Lord for their help. , “ And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.”
Know that I am God. Know in this instance means “to properly ascertain by seeing” and “acknowledge, and be aware of who I AM.”
How does acknowledging God impact our stillness? We know that He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere), omnipotent (all-powerful), holy, sovereign, faithful, infinite, and good and He’s gracious. Acknowledging God implies that we can trust Him and surrender to His plan and His will.
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. It was tempting for the nation of Israel to align with foreign powers, and God reminds them that ultimately He is exalted!
Ultimately, God wins, and ultimately He will brings peace.
During Isaiah’s time, Judah looked for help from the Egyptians, even though God warned against it. Judah did not need Egyptian might; they needed reliance on the Lord: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” ().
When we are still and surrendered to God, we find peace even when the earth gives way, the mountains fall (verse 2), or the nations go into an uproar and kingdoms fall (verse 6). When life gets overwhelming and busyness takes precedence, remember , “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Run to Him, lay down your weapons and fall into His arms. Acknowledge that He is God and that He is exalted in the earth. Be still and know that He is God.
Paul’s role as a prophet in the line of Jesus and his apostles is because further highlight here because of His likeness to Jesus. We see that likeness in divine compulsion to follow the direction of the Spirit. We see that likeness in his devotion to teach in and suffer torment in the name of Jesus. We see that likeness in the fact that Paul is willing to deny his own will and follow the will of the Lord, by letting the will of the Lord be done unto him. Issues of divine guidance and how to respond to warnings about impending imprisonment are raised and are finally resolved by Paul’s determination to face the inevitable suffering. Paul understood that if he was to reign with Christ that he must also suffer with Christ. Paul is a great example to all of us who have been or will be faced with the necessity to suffer for Lord’s sake in a variety of situations, the response of Paul’s colleagues and friends is a challenging model: ‘The Lord’s will be done’.
Let us pray...
1. Let the will of the Lord be done… and forsake not your mission. (21:1–6)
This journey narrative really began back in 20:1–16, and was interrupted by the farewell speech to the Ephesian elders (20:17–38), but now it continues. Luke’s interest in the details of sea travel resurfaces, as does his focus on the joys and sorrows of Christian fellowship. Here the issue of divine guidance comes to the forefront again.
21:1, And when we had parted from them and set sail, we came by a straight course to Cos... This island is in the Aegean Sea, west of Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum) the text goes on to say. ‘… And the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. Rhodes,’ another island off the southwest coast of Asia Minor, also had a capital city with the same name. This journey followed the conventional pattern for small ships in antiquity, since they were small ship they were ‘to hug close to the coastline as much as possible and pull into port each night when the winds died down’. Now Patara was on the mainland and in earlier days was the port of Xanthos, the chief city of Lycia. This is where Paul and his party left one ship and joined another.
21:2 ‘And having found a ship crossing to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail.’ This was a ship large enough for crossing over to Phoenicia, which was a journey of some 400 miles. Phoenicia was a narrow coastal strip on the Mediterranean Sea, which was annexed by Rome in 64 bc and incorporated into the province of Syria. 21:3 When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left we sailed to Syria and landed at Trye…’ Luke now here names their destination and concludes his precise account of the sea journey with the landing at Tyre. There the ship was to unload its cargo, which explains why they stay at this particular port longer. Tyre was an ancient trade center, the most notable settlement on the Phoenician coast, which was made a free city under the Romans.
Let the will of the Lord be done... concerning my mission
Although we know from chapter 20 that Paul was hurrying to reach Jerusalem, ‘for he was hastening to be a Jerusalem, if possible on the day of Pentecost’ (20:16b), he and his party had made such good time on their journey that they were delighted to be able to stay with the Christians in Tyre ‘And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days’ ().
The church in that city was founded as a result of the outreach to Phoenicia mentioned in 11:19 (cf. 15:3). 21:4b, ‘ And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.’ (These words and through the Spirit) refers to a revelation by the Holy Spirit of the dangers that lay ahead for Paul. Some have seen this as a Spirit-directed urging of them to tell Paul not to go, which conflicts the Spirit-directed revelation already given to Paul about the need to visit Jerusalem and to suffer in the process. However, Luke does not treat this as a different message, requiring discernment by the church. Luke treats this has further documentation of God sovereign purpose for Paul’s life. In three successive scenes, the Spirit of God speaks about the dangers awaiting Paul in Jerusalem, and each this time Paul’s resolve is strengthened on each occasion for what he might face. Three time the Spirit speaks, , And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
, And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. Then later in , now in this, we see that the Spirit’s revelation was the same. The Lord’s will was consistently revealed, and progressively Paul was shown what this might entail and the Lord’s will must be done.
Paul friends were desperately seeking his safety in light of an unknown and dangerous future. But Paul understood and we Christians must understand, that there is only one way to face a fearful future and it is by facing the future with humility.
, says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”
When facing a fearing future we are instructed to take the initiative ourselves to humble ourselves before God. This call from God concerning humility means that we are to lay ourselves a low before God, to become insignificant and weak before God. For God loves the humble, the Lord lifts up the humble, he cast the wicked to the ground, ; For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation, ; When pride come, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom, and , But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “ God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
A.W. Tower once said, “Humility is a scare as an albino robin.”
We must desperately seek humility before our Holy God. Desperation is not bad, in facts, God creates it at times in our hearts and lives to draw us closer to Him. When we get desperate enough we will listen and comply. Remember desperation for God couplet with humbling ourselves before God is a winning combination.
As his friends became aware of the implications, they were moved by a Spirit-given love for Paul to urge him not to go. The Spirit did not to prohibit Paul from going to Jerusalem through their urging but continued to warn him of the dangers. When it was time to leave, 21:5a‘When our day there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. Even though there had been only such a short time to get to know one another, a close bond between the traveling believers and the Christians in Tyre had been formed. The presence of whole families at this farewell, gathering to pray for Paul and his companions on the beach, highlights the seriousness of the occasion. Their support and admiration for Paul must have been particularly encouraging for him at this time. Luke concludes this touching scene with the note that, 21:5b-6‘And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home.
2. Let the will of the Lord be done... concerning my ministry (21:7–16)
Paul’s journey to Jerusalem continues, with as he meets fellow Christians along the way. Those in Caesarea, together with Paul’s companions, are concerning as well by a specific revelation about Paul’s future, which causes them to plead with Paul not to continue his journey. This gives Paul the opportunity to affirm his willingness to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus , and moves the believers to echo his trust and commitment (v. 14).
21:7, When we had finished the voyage from Trye, we arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for one day. Ptolemais was a strong fortress and another important trade center, about 30 miles down the coast from Tyre. It was made a Roman colony in the time of the emperor Claudius. This was the same mission that brought the gospel there, founded this church as well. , ‘Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews.’ Hospitality to the travelers is specifically mentioned in vv. 4, 8, and 16, and it is a ministry highlighted elsewhere in Acts, especially in relation to those engaged in gospel work.
, Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
,‘Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.’ On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea… journeying either by sea or by road another 30 miles south. Caesarea belonged to the Roman province of Judea and was the seat of its administration. Here we see that the travelers …entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven...’ Philip was last mentioned in 8:40, where we were told of his ‘preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea’. He was known as the evangelist,
, As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.’ Because evangelism was his gift, Philip ‘evangelizes’, seeking to be one of the harvesters bring in the harvest for the Lord. He had apparently ceased his itinerant work and settled in Caesarea to concentrate his work in this important center and to raise a family. The mentioning of Philip as an evangelist and his daughters as ‘prophesying’ conveys something of ‘the strength of the community at Caesarea’. Some characters in Acts are specifically designated as prophets. This wider phenomenon of prophesying is implied and must be seen in the light of the promise of , “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.”
Indeed, use of the present participle propheteuo, which means to speak forth by divine inspirations, to utter forth and declare a thing that could only be known by divine revelation in 21:9 suggests that this is an ongoing ministry rather than an office is in view here. This meeting with Philip provided for Paul and Luke w a unique opportunity to consult one of the Seven mentioned in 6:3–5, for him there could find out more about the early history of the Jerusalem church and particularly to gain information about the ministries of Stephen (6:8–8:3) and of Philip himself (8:4–40).
It was at Caesarea that Paul had to make a final decision about going on to Jerusalem. Luke records that
21:10,‘While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. He speaks of Agabus coming from Judea. Judea, was a predominantly Gentile city, Caesarea was not considered part of Judea in the ethnic sense. Presumably, Agabus had a greater awareness of the tensions in Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit had spoke to him concerning the ministry of Paul which was currently in route. Agabus according to extra-biblical tradition was a resident of Jerusalem. He is said to have been one of the seventy disciples commissioned to preach the gospel in the book of Luke. He was was the twelve apostles in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. He had received a gift of prophecy and had correctly predicted a severe famine which occurred during the reign of the emperor Claudius. The text goes on to tell us what Agabus did and said. 21:11a,‘And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands,’ The belt (zōnē) is likely to have been a long piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. This action by Agabus is symbolical of what the prophet Jeremiah did, look at
13:1-11, Thus says the LORD to me, "Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it around your waist, and do not dip it in water." 2 So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the LORD, and put it around my waist. 3 And the word of the LORD came to me a second time, 4 "Take the loincloth that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a cleft of the rock." 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me. 6 And after many days the LORD said to me, "Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there." 7 Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the loincloth was spoiled; it was good for nothing.8 Then the word of the LORD came to me:9 "Thus says the LORD: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing.11 For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.”
In the case of Jeremiah the people pride and sins clung to them like an intimate garment, here the pride and sins of the people Paul is going to minister to want to bind his efforts and deliver him over to the Gentiles.
21:11b “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.”’. Echoes of Jesus’ predictions about what would happen to him can be heard in these words , “…The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
“Let these words sink into your eyes: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.”
, ‘For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon.”
The implication is that Paul will suffer to some extent as Jesus suffered, though as a model disciple rather than as one who sets out to relive the story of Jesus. Paul once said in , “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection and may share his suffering, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” A broad prediction is given about what will happen to him in Jerusalem. His travel companions and the Christians in Caesarea took the warning of Agabus seriously and pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Paul refuses to shrink for the suffering he was being called to, Paul realized that to rejoice in his suffering was to key producing in him a greater endurance, a greater character, and a greater hope. , Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.’
21:12, ‘When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem.’ They were moved by a loving concern for Paul’s welfare and by the force of the prediction to express themselves in this way. Can this example also be compared to what Peter did in rebuking Jesus.
, “And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Though Paul’s friends concerns were genuine, they still were setting their mind on the things of men and not the things of God. They did not see nor did that understand the will of God nor His hand. Indeed, they implied that the prophecy would come true only if Paul insisted on completing his journey. Luke includes himself among those who did not at this stage share Paul’s commitment to the pathway of suffering and captivity.
It is clear from the forceful and solemn response of Paul’s answer that there was a deep relationship existing between these friends, 21:13a ‘What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart?’ His friends were ‘weeping’, and this was having the effect of breaking his heart because their emotional appeal made it difficult for Paul to hold to his purpose but he did. All he could do was to trust in Jesus, to give Him, his all and to give them a forthright statement of his resolve: 21:13b, ‘For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus’. In effect, Paul was saying, ‘Stop weeping and trying to dissuade me, for I am ready’. I’m totally sold out to Christ, He is my all and all, He is the author and finisher of my faith, He is my Alpha and Omega , He is my beginning and my end. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for the Lord is my shepherd, His rod and His staff they protect me, He is the one that prepares a table before me in the midst of my enemies, my cup runs over, surely, goodness and mercy, shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Paul remained faithful, although he was not, in the end, required to give his life in Jerusalem. When they saw that Paul would not be dissuaded, his friends gave up and said, look at 21:14b, ‘Let the will of the Lord be done.’ Paul determination to follow in the steps of his Jesus, his master and to honor the name of Jesus was the reason for his acceptance of the will of God, Paul’s inner spirit was saying the. Very words of Christ in his heart, Nevertheless, Lord, not my will but your be done. Whatever, God wills, is my will! The Greek word here for will is the word thelo, which means my will but the word here is, Thelma, which means the purpose of God, the command of God.
Like Jesus, he ‘resolutely set out for Jerusalem’, and his submission to the will of God had a powerful impact on those who were with him. Although suffering was an integral part of the ministry to which Paul had been called, because he remembers what Jesus had said of him to Ananias when he called Paul into the ministry, “But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of min to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name”(9:15–16).
It is reasonable to ask why he had to suffer precisely as he did in these final chapters.
It appears that the completion of his ministry required ‘the extensive defense of his work against religious and political accusations that actually follow in the narrative. Paul is facing the cultural consequences of his previous ministry, which has disturbed religion and society, with their guardians, by introducing a new understanding of God’s work as reaching out through Jesus Messiah to both Jew and Gentile. This is the ministry of breaking down the barrier between them, Jew and Gentile. This is the ministry of the mystery of the gospel. This is the ministry of reconciliation, 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. -
However, even more fundamentally, these chapters represent Paul being persecuted because of his theological claim that the resurrection hope of Israel is fulfilled only through Jesus,
, Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “ Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” He was suffering for preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. In this respect, he suffered specifically ‘for the name of the Lord Jesus’ as Peter and John did as well. Positively, the following chapters show that Paul’s suffering and imprisonment gave him many opportunities to testify about Jesus and his resurrection in unexpected places.
After the several days mentioned in v. 10 were over, Paul and his team ‘got ready and went up to Jerusalem’ 33 The journey of some 60 miles (100 km.) would have taken three days by foot or ‘two with relative ease by horse’. Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us, perhaps as a protective escort, and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. This sounds like a prearranged visit with a well-known Hellenistic Jewish Christian (he was a man from Cyprus). Perhaps the Caesarean Christians had organized this for Paul and his party and were leading them to the right spot. Mnason was doubtless sympathetic to Paul and his missionary activities and was not troubled about hosting all the delegates from the Gentile churches traveling with Paul. Again Luke reveals a pattern of hospitality offered by Christians, especially to those engaged in itinerant missions. Given the suspicions expressed about Paul by some in Jerusalem (v. 21), this was a wise and cautious way of seeking accommodation in the city.
God asked Paul as He is asking each of us for a life of full surrender. A life of full surrender to God has its challenges and difficulties and will become overwhelming at times, such that we might be tempted to retreat. That is what we must never leave the presence of God but remain close to Him at all times.
When asked if a life of full surrender was even possible, Andrew Murray, responded, “ What has God promised you and what can God do to fill a vessel absolutely surrendered to Him?
God wants to bless you in a way beyond what you expect. From the beginning the ear has not heard, nor the eye seen what God has prepared for those who love him and are surrendered to Him.
Surrendering to God is abandoning all that we have, to receive all that God possesses. Remember God is attracted to our weakness. Listen to the words of Paul, 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -
God is attracted to weakness!