Categories: Pastor's Blog
“The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” Acts 21:11
Have you ever done exactly what you believed God told you to do and then ended up with the situation worse than when it began?
The Apostle Paul experienced this on a number of different occasions, but what kept him going was his trust in God’s character. Paul trusted in the fact that God was in control no matter what the circumstance of life may have presented.
And that means Paul took steps of faith based on his belief in God and not according to the circumstances he was in or would end up in. I heard another pastor put it this way, “Paul placed his faith in God’s identity, not in his ability to see God’s activity.”
The scripture that I began with is an example of this. Paul was on his way to Jerusalem. A prophet named Agabus came to see him and took Paul’s belt and he tied it around his own hands and feet, telling the apostle, ““The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” (Acts 21:11)
When Paul’s friends heard this they immediately tried to talk him out of going to Jerusalem, but he went anyway, saying, “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.” (Acts 21:13)
What the Holy Spirit told Agabus was true: Paul was bound and handed over to the Gentiles in Jerusalem. Yet, the facts, by themselves, do not reveal the entire truth.
God used the circumstances of Paul’s arrest as the means for getting him to Rome, and if you remember Paul wanted to be in Rome all along. Once in Rome, Paul was placed under house arrest, forcing him to stay in one place after so many years on the road as a missionary.
And once Paul found himself bound in chains he began to write letters to the churches he had help to plant over the last several years, and some of those letters are part of the New Testament we read today.
I tell you this story in order to remind you that God is in the best position to interpret the facts of your life. Place your faith in him and not your circumstances.
I am looking forward to seeing you this weekend.
Blessings – Pastor Bill