Psalm 29-30 Acts 23:1-15
“The next night the Lord came and stood by Paul. He said, ‘Be brave! You have told people in Jerusalem about me. You must do the same in Rome.’” (Acts 23:11 NCV)
You have to give the commander of the Roman guard credit. He wanted to find out what the problem was, so he called in the Jewish leadership to discuss the situation. It went badly. First, Paul and the High Priest had a dust-up. Paul realized that wasn’t helping, so he broke up the meeting using an old divide and conquer technique. He knew the Sadducees would never agree with him, so he identified with the Pharisees and noted that he was on trial because of his belief in the idea that people could rise from the dead. That got the Pharisees and Sadducees into a heated argument. The Pharisees supported Paul, but the commander ended the discussion by taking Paul back to prison. While Paul was there, God gave him his end of life mission: he would proclaim the gospel in Rome just as he had in Jerusalem.
I believe that this was just another step of obedience for Paul. As exciting as the mission itself was, the greatest joy would come because he was doing what God wanted him to do. Joy comes from following God’s direction in our lives. When I was younger we had people who talked about trying to find themselves. They misunderstood the idea of purpose in life. While they were searching for themselves, they missed God’s call. They searched so diligently for themselves that they missed God’s call on their lives. They called the generation that rose after World War 1 the lost generation because people were so disillusioned by the events of the war that they lost all hope and all belief in God. As followers of God, we have a purpose in life. We are called to find out what God wants us to do and to pursue that call with all of our hearts. We’re to reach out to people along the journey to that goal and share God’s love and grace. When you think about Paul’s call to Rome, his final mission, it’s interesting to note that we learn more about the journey along the way than what happened with Paul in Rome. Sometimes we see people who talk about finding God’s will for their lives. If you’re searching for His will, remember that whether He calls you to proclaim the gospel in Rome or to work the nursery in your church, not only is obedience to that call vital to experiencing joy in Christ, so also is commitment to being His ambassador as you travel along the way. The destination isn’t as important as how you handle the journey.
Lord, sometimes when I follow You I get too caught up in reaching the destination You’ve called me to. Help me to journey well and show others Your love and grace along the way knowing that doing Your will isn’t found in arriving at the destination, but in sharing You along the journey.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved