There have been times in my life when there was trouble on the horizon and I was made aware of it. I could see the “storm” brewing and I knew that trouble was ahead. When something like this is getting ready to happen, I usually have a couple of choices: fight through the storm or run away from the storm. Paul saw such a storm on the horizon. He felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to fight through the storm for the cause of Christ. His friends begged him to choose another option. Check this out…4 We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 5 When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. 6 After saying goodbye to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.(Acts 21:4-6 NIV)
What strikes me as odd is that the disciples begged him NOT to go to Jerusalem (the storm) through the Spirit. Yet Paul is being led by the Spirit to go. I know that the Holy Spirit is not confused. On another occasion, a guy named Agabus warned Paul of the coming storm. Check this out….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.’” (Acts 21:10-11 NIV)
It appears that Paul was keenly aware that a storm was on the horizon, yet he felt clearly called to go through the storm even if it meant he wouldn’t survive it. He felt in his heart that the storm would provide another platform or opportunity for him to share his journey with the Lord. He could preach Christ to those who misunderstood and to those who were creating the storm of controversy.
This particular passage of scripture reminds me that the storms of life are not all bad. The trip through a storm is often refining and defining for me. I learn a lot about me in the midst of a storm and I learn lots about the power of God. He is stronger than any storm I face. I must decide to follow Him even if the storm looks to destroy me, I must follow His call on my life over the threat of danger. I want to follow Him all the days of my life – no matter what the circumstances and no matter what storm lies in the path of following Him.Pressing On! Dwayne