“A man’s heart deviseth his way: But the LORD directeth his steps”
(Proverbs 16:9, KJV). I love this verse, but it gained new meaning during my bible study session, recently. I was reading the piece where Paul was imprisoned by the Romans because the Synagogue leaders wanted him dead.
Agrippa and Festus could find no fault with Paul who was being kept imprisoned. Even stating, “This an might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Cæsar” (Acts 26:32, KJV). We often do something out of fear, just like Paul, to get out of a sticky situation. Paul appealed to Caesar, because he knew he wouldn’t receive a fair trial by his own peers. Paul doesn’t seem to realise then that God already predestined his steps to Rome to spread the good news of Jesus. We read in Acts 9 verses 15-16 (KJV), “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
Even his journey to Rome was precarious. On their way there, the ship they were on faced storms, just like all of us are facing our own personal storms today. We ignore warnings and then face the consequences of the choices we made. Paul warned the people not to leave Crete for they will come to great harm (Acts 27:21, KJV). However even in this God’s promise prevailed, by turning everything that is evil into good. Paul said to them, “22 -And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. 23 -For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24 -saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Cæsar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25 -Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. 26 -Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island” (Acts 27:21-26, KJV).
Yes, they got stranded on a island. And again the evil one attacked Paul, because he wanted to stop Paul’s progress to Rome. The evil one knows that God has special plans for all of us. He will do anything to stop your mission in life. We read in Acts 28:3-6 (KJV) “And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.“
Recently I watched the movie Hacksaw Ridge telling the story of Desmond Doss who went into battle without a weapon, wanting to be a medic only. He wasn’t harmed in the initial fight, because God placed him there for a reason. What is your mission in this life? Are you on track? Are you under constant attack from the evil one? I know I am. Just writing this blog had a few teeth grinding moments. But we need to persevere just like Paul did.
Paul came to Rome where he testified about Jesus. We learn that he spoke to the Jews living in Rome, defending his actions. However, the Jews didn’t want to believe him. Paul said unto them, “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it”(Acts 28:28-31, KJV). He continued to lived for two years in Rome teaching the Kingdom of God.
And therefore, “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, KJV).
Prayer: My dear Lord God, thank you for the purpose that you have set in front of each one of us. Please help us to fulfil this purpose so that through that, You will be glorified. #GodCanDoThis
You will find the text verses I used in: