Scripture:

vs 10-13

[10] After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. [11] Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’ ”
[12] When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. [13] Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Observation:

In Acts 20 Paul already said that he was compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. And he already said that the Holy Spirit warned him that in every city prison and hardship awaits him.  The prophecy of Agabus here is confirmation of the same. This is nothing new for Paul.

Luke and the others here were interpreting God’s will for Paul based only on the prophecy of Agabus.  The problem is, the Holy Spirit wasn’t working through them to tell him not go go.  They were interpreting this on their own, not knowing the Holy Spirit was leading Paul to in fact go face the trials.  Paul knew he was being led by the Spirit, that we was following God’s will for him, and that God would use him through those trials.  Paul was ready to to the Lord’s work no matter the cost.

Application:

While we should all seek godly advice from other Christians and validate our decisions through them, at times we need to simply let the Spirit lead us.  Validate through the Word, validate through the Spirit.  It’s easy for well meaning Christian friends to misinterpret God’s will for us when they themselves aren’t hearing from the Holy Spirit within us.  It’s easy for well meaning Christians to lead us away from God’s will because they are trying to protect us from pain or trials.  Basically, they don’t know all the facts.

This is absolutely not to say that we shouldn’t listen to advice of our Christian friends but if we feel the Spirit is leading us and we’re not sure how to respond, use other forms of validation as well as advice, and give advisors all the facts.

Prayer:

Lord help me discern your will for me as I navigate small and large decisions day to day.  Thank you for giving me Your Word as I look to validate what I seem to hear from Your Spirit.  Thank you for other brothers and sisters in Christ who will help guide me when I need it but Lord, I ask that their advice not move me away from your will.  Amen

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