The Easy Way Out

The Easy Way Out

Acts 21:4, 10-11

Scripture: “We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem… After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 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.’”

Observation: In two separate places the Holy Spirit spoke through men to urge Paul not to go to Jerusalem. This seems a little perplexing, was it not the Holy Spirit telling Paul to go to Jerusalem initially? Did the Holy Spirit change his mind? Was Paul confused? Why are there different prophecies but the same Spirit? In Acts 20:22-23 Paul explained to the leaders at Ephesus that he had been alerted by the Holy Spirit about his imprisonment. The Holy Spirit is not giving Paul contradictory messages but rather testing and preparing Paul. This was to prepare Paul for the future and to see if Paul would be committed.

Application: I think many Christians are afraid or at least anxious of what God is calling them to do. I know I often feel like what God is saying seems too big or too much for me to handle. I believe that we can allow that fear to sway our sense of calling and can start to search for that escape clause. No one would have blamed Paul, fro example, if he listened to the men that warned Paul and didn’t go to Jerusalem. In fact, people would have been convinced that Paul was listening to the Holy Spirit and commended him for being obedient. Yet, he was convinced of his calling and understood that the Holy Spirit was not intending to give him an escape clause but a call to greater commitment and reliance on him. What about us? Are we quick to take the easy out? How many times have we missed God’s leading because we were following the easy call?

Prayer: Lord Jesus I want to have bigger faith in you, and trust you in the impossible. Help me to trust you and not be looking around for the easy way out. I want to be filled and moved by your Spirit and convinced by faith to follow. Amen

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