Vs 4 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.
Vs 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 at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”
Vs 12 When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem.
Vs 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.”
Vs 14 And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”
Paul is visiting old friends, but has the mission of Jerusalem on his heart and mind.
Along the way, he is strongly encouraged not to go to Jerusalem.
Some of his closest believing friends, as well as, some of his broader faith community are echoing the same thing to Paul,
“Do not go to Jerusalem!”
They are even stating that their words are from the Holy Spirit!
But Paul makes is very clear to his discouragers that he is ready for anything, including death, for the name of Jesus.
Ultimately, there is consensus around the idea that “the will of the Lord be done”.
I will hear many messages all around me. They may all echo each other, or they may contradict each other.
The messages may come from sources that care a lot about me or not care at all about me.
The messages may even use the word of God or be cloaked in religious language.
So then, what am I to do when I’m hearing mixed messages?
Sure I must consider the sources … are they sources of wisdom? …
Are they sources that love God? … Do they have love and affection for me?
But I must, ultimately, have a grounding for my own convictions.
And my convictions must be grounded in the “truth of God” and the “will of God”.
The truth of God is simple. It’s what Paul said he would die for … “the name of Jesus”.
The will of God is harder to discern.
So, what then was the difference between the God fearing, Jesus loving people telling Paul NOT to go to Jerusalem and Paul’s conviction to go?
It seems to me, their primary concern in telling Paul NOT to go was their concern for his circumstantial safety & peace.
Perhaps, they really were hearing from the Holy Spirit of the torment to come for Paul in Jerusalem.
They didn’t want this for their dear friend.
But Paul’s situational or circumstantial comfort was of no concern to him.
His much greater conviction was “the will of God” and “the name of Jesus”.
It was no shock at all to Paul that he may be “imprisoned” or “even die” by going to Jerusalem.
And when he communicated this conviction to his friends, they also came around to this same conclusion.
So then, what is my conviction? … the comfort of me or the will of God?
The two are likely not always the same.
But this is where I can’t confuse “security” with “comfort”.
I will tend to create to easiest of circumstances for my “comfort”.
My “security”, however, will be in the “name of Jesus” and “the will of God”.
Will it be “easy”, or will my circumstances be “comfortable”? Probably not.
Will I be “secure”? In the name of Jesus … Absolutely.
Thank you, God, for your word
Thank you for example like Paul
Help me live with his conviction
Help me discern your will
Give me courage to move in it
In Jesus name