Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Acts 21: 1-14

In today’s reading, we read of Paul’s continued journey’s around the Mediterranean – including an emotional departure from Tyre with a warning not to go to Jerusalem. Again, when Paul is staying in Caesarea with Phillip the evangelist the prophet Agabus prophesies to Paul that if he goes to Jerusalem he will be captured and bound up. Paul goes anyway with the bidding “The Lord’s will be done.” He was ready to face anything that came his way, even being arrested and possibly killed if it was the Lord’s will.

How do we know what the Lord’s will is? How do we know if we are following God. Do we have the courage to follow God come what may always proclaiming “the Lord’s will be done?”

Personally, If I had recognized that a prophet of God was telling me I’d be bound and arrested and even possibly killed if I went to Jerusalem, I’d take that as an indicator that it was not the will of God for me to go. Paul thought otherwise and went anyway. He seemed to accept that as God telling him what was going to happen to prepare him and to make sure he was willing to do what God was asking him to do come what may. Maybe through Paul’s intimate relationship with God, he knew the difference. I only hope that I would recognize the same. It would be really easy in that circumstance to justify doing something contrary to the will of God (by not going, for example) because we had heard it from a couple of sources. So how do you know?

I think the only way we can know what the will of God is for our life, is to have such a deep relationship with God that you recognize when God is speaking and guiding us. If we have a consistant prayer life, if we participate in worship if we are active in the life and ministry of a faith community, more and more that intimate relationship with God will develop so we may have a better way of “hearing” God when he is calling us to go somewhere or do something. If we never engage God, we can’t really follow God. While we may pray “The Lord’s will be done” the only way to know if that is happening is through an ever deeper relationship with the Holy One.

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