LISTEN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT MORE THAN YOUR FRIENDS
“After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 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.’” 12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “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.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.” (Acts 21:10—14)
How would we feel if someone came up to us and warned us of the danger that would surely happen to us at the place where we are about to travel? The prophet who brought the news to Paul was detailed in his word to Paul. Prophet Agabus went over to Paul and took his belt, tied Paul’s hands and feet with it, and gave him the word of what will happen to him. But what if you find out that that word wasn’t the word from the person but from the Holy Spirit, who guides and leads us in life?
Will the Holy Spirit spare us from danger? Will He lead us even when there is a real chance that danger will surely happen to me? It is clear from here that the Holy Spirit gave the word and the warning. Paul also faced his concerned friends, who were there and pleaded with him not to go through with his planned trip. How quickly can we change our plans when we hear of danger? I know how quickly I’ll change my mind. Like Paul’s concerned friends, my wife plays that role, trying to convince me to postpone and maybe wait for another time when it is safe.
This was a great test for Paul. I believe that when Paul heard the Prophet Agabus’s words, at first, he may have thought twice about going, but when he heard that the HOLY SPIRIT was involved, he did not hesitate. He believed he knew that he would be okay with the trip if the Holy Spirit were involved.
This past weekend, there was word that Tokyo would be a mess with a huge snow dump that would mess up transportation and may cause many accidents and inconveniences. I remember someone wrote me that they watched the news, and they were saying heavy snow would blanket Tokyo. The person was so concerned about the immediate danger that he didn’t read the rest of the report that it would rain after all. However, this individual was so concerned that he may not be able to get home because of the snow. It did end up with rain that quickly melted the snow away.
Again, like any human being, Paul must have thought of what might happen, but he heard that the Holy Spirit gave the word; his faith was strengthened, and he was confident everything would be ok. Sometimes even in the midst of a bad report, we must listen in with discernment what the Holy Spirit will have to say. A bad report does not always come with a damaging effect on our faith. Sometimes God’s voice is within the bad report.
Paul said to his friends, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready to be bound and die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Paul’s friends could not dissuade or persuade him to change his mind. They gave up trying to dissuade him and said; may the Lord’s will be done.
Three takeaways for me from this; One, The Holy Spirit is always present at all times in my life. Secondly, someone else will change my mind if I don’t live with a made-up mind.
Thirdly, with a made-up mind, all attempts to dissuade and persuade me will stop.
Jesus, I thank you for the promise of the Holy Spirit to advocate and teach and lead me to discern your will and purpose even amid fear and uncertainty. Help me always to listen and keep my focus on what you are leading me to do. I look to you for your guidance and direction when I am not sure what to do. Lead and guide me daily. I need you always, Amen!