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Let the Will of the Lord Be Done

Daily ReadingActs 21

 

When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21.12-13)

 

Devotional Thought: What do you do when godly people disagree?  When both sides have prayed and still there is no consensus?  When all parties concerned are convinced – through the Holy Spirit – that they are right?

 

Paul was making his way to Jerusalem through the leadership of the Spirit.  Along the way, he made several stops and at two of them he was encouraged to reconsider his destination.  How could this be?  Was the Holy Spirit giving different messages to different people? What did they do to move beyond impasse? 

 

Let’s look briefly at some lessons we can take from this passage.

  • Neither side tried to discredit or “de-Christianize” the other.  They all maintained a high regard for the spiritual integrity of one another.  Just because we disagree does not mean that one or the other of us has somehow rejected God!

  • They did not feel the need to come to consensus on this issue.  They were somehow able to live with the creative tension that was present in their diverging views, even when they believed that their views were Spirit-inspired!

  • They were open to having misunderstood or misinterpreted the Spirit.  The Spirit spoke the same message, but the reason for their different conclusions was their different assumptions.

  • They gave Paul the freedom to choose his course himself.  They did not try to force Paul to conform to their interpretation.  

 

In the final analysis what is important?  That God’s will be done.  And that is where they arrived: “Let the will of the Lord be done” (v. 14). So, if there is not agreement, don’t panic!  Believe in one another, live with the paradox, leave room for interpretation, and trust God to work it out in the end!

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for sending your Spirit to speak to us.  When, through our various perspectives and contexts, we see things differently, help us to live at peace with one another and allow you to work it all out in the end. Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 76:1-7

1 In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel.

2 His abode has been established in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion.

3 There he broke the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah

4 Glorious are you, more majestic than the mountains of prey.

5 The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil; they sank into sleep; all the men of war were unable to use their hands.

6 At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both rider and horse lay stunned.

7 But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?

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