Red Light, Green Light?
Heavenly Father, today help me to live my life in purity, in humility, and in love.
Consider: "Trust God and do the next thing" (Oswald Chambers, 1874-1917). This is good advice for all times.
Paul definitely needed a smartphone with GPS. Our reading today tells us that after leaving Miletus, he journeyed down the coast of modern Turkey, crossed the Mediterranean Sea and landed in the city of Tyre. His objective was to reach Jerusalem. But this travelogue is interesting not just to map geeks; it's useful for anyone curious to know God's will today.
Paul could have gone to other cities in the region, places where he could have planted more churches and accomplished better ministry outcomes, so why did he go to Jerusalem, ground zero of his opposition? Luke tells us it was a result of two things. First, Paul made a decision to go there (19:21). It's vitally important that we take time to wait on the Lord when facing an important decision, but holding out for the handwriting on the wall (Dan. 5:5,6) can sometimes immobilize us. As we see in this passage, God can use our decisions to move us toward his purposes. Paul would have agreed that God steers a moving ship.
The second and more significant factor driving Paul to Jerusalem was the clear leading of the Holy Spirit (20:22). That's what we should desire most when facing a decision today. But even when we do sense the Spirit's leading we still need prayerful discernment. On the surface it may seem that God was giving mixed signals (10,11), but a careful examination of what happened shows that both Paul and Agabus got it right. God was leading Paul to Jerusalem, and he was warning him that it would be difficult. The point is, neither Paul nor Agabus knew God's full plan, and neither will we. Our responsibility is to faithfully seek God's direction for the next step while trusting the final outcome to him (Rom. 8:28).
In what area of your life are you most seeking God's guidance? What next step do you sense the Holy Spirit leading you to take?
Father, as I move forward with my life, keep me from being paralyzed by the choices before me. I want to stay connected and keep in step with the Spirit.