February 23, 2018

ACTS 21:1-16



Desire is not a bad thing. God has created you with desires that he wants to fulfill in Him but yet at times like a raw piece of clay, we need to allow God to mold it so that it can be used in a productive way. Think for a second the power of a firehose. These things are so powerful that they can actually break things and hurt people if not in the proper hands. When the fireman holds the hose, the power of it can be directed for good use and actually stops the chaos of the fire but when the hose does not have a fireman, like the cartoons, the hose starts flinging around all over the place as it causes more damage than good. Our desires are like a firehose without a fireman! We need God to shape it, direct it, and be in it so that we can fully maximize the potential joy in its right fulfillment. So whatever it is that we are holding back, let us take a step of faith and present it to the Lord to help shape it!


10 While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 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[c] at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” 12 When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 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.” 14 And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”


Today’s passage is definitely a situation where the desires of the people needed to be directed and shaped by God for what the people wanted was good, but not in alignment with God’s will. The Lord willed for Paul to go to Jerusalem despite the hardships that were awaiting him but the people were doing everything that they can to stop him from going. Paul knew the will of God and the road of suffering that was destined for him so he encouraged the people by telling them that he has his heart set on laying down his life for the Gospel.


Today’s principle is simple but yet one of the hardest things to do in the Christian walk because if we were to get this down, we can only dare imagine what God can do through willing vessels. We all experience God’s powerful presence and encounter in our lives but a lot of times we stop short of what could happen because we are afraid to completely let go and trust. Paul trusted in the Lord despite the persecution that was coming and saw that obedience to the will of God is going to smash through the ultimate goal of not dying for the Lord but ultimately being with the Lord in joy. The view of the people was that Paul was going to end up in pain and suffering but Paul’s view was beyond the pain of the suffering but the glory of God’s presence through obedience. Paul trusted the Lord and it was not to say that the people did not trust God but their circumstance for a time being had their mindset removed from the mindset of the Lord but because Paul stood determined in the will of God, the people eventually aligned with the Him.


To follow God’s will is hard and there are moments where you question whether the decisions you make are in alignment with God’s. Here are some tips but not hard rules to help you discern his will


  1. This is simple but the most crucial to start with, you have to desire to do God’s will. If this not expressed and rehearsed then you may slowly bend your will to yourself or others.

  2. Spend time in prayer. This is not just a ten second all or nothing desperate prayer but I believe the longer you are in intentional prayer, the more you are able to discern His voice. It takes time to be able to distinguish whether you are hearing from God or not and the word of God is a good foundation for developing that familiarity to His voice.

    1. Sometimes when we want answers we pray by talking at God but a lot of times we need to just be silent so that He can speak! Sometimes prayer is just sitting there and quieting your mind and saying simply to God that you are not uncomfortable in the silence but open to hear whatever He has to say. As a note, if you get discouraged or feel condemned, that is not God! If that happens, disregard it and ask the Holy Spirit to silence all voices except His.

  3. Be willing to obey. To seek God’s will and not have the resolve to obey is defeating the purpose before you even begin.


Be patient, it takes time to bend our wills to God’s and shape our desires with Him for we are not used to it but with practice you will see that it will become a natural part of your life.


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