Day 66~ Acts 27-28; Philemon 1~ Spare yourself
This section in Acts, when Paul warns Julius not to start the trip to Rome has always intrigued me! Paul gave God-given advice not to start the voyage because it was “going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo” (27:10). But Julius decided the contrary and “followed the advise of the pilot and the owner of the ship” (vs.11).
After the damage occurred, Paul says, “Men, you should have taken my advise not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.” (27:21)
This intrigues me because it leaves the realization that there are many different ways our life can go. It’s our choice. God will still accomplish his purposes (like getting Paul to Rome), but it can go better. What that means is that we can’t say, “Well, God wanted this to happen.” No,….not necessarily,..he may not have wanted you to choose the way you did. But, since you did choose the way you did, “…God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)
I am so glad I have the Bible as an instruction book on how to avoid damage and loss. I am especially glad that I have the Holy Spirit living in me (John 16:13) to warn me as I am about to do something stupid. “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Cor. 10:13).
Once when I was in my late teens, I found myself in a very compromising situation with a guy with whom I had gone on a date. Boy, I’m telling you, it was as if the Holy Spirit was yelling in my ear, “Get out, NOW!!” That was “the way out” God was giving me.
I knew the guy didn’t hear it. I could have ignored the ‘still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12)(that wasn’t being too small at the moment) but I didn’t! I decided to heed the advice.
Like it says what to do in 2 Tim. 2:22, I ran! “Gotta go, had a nice time! Bye!” I left the guy completely bewildered. I’m sure he thought the date was going great and wasn’t going to end so soon! I, however, saved myself “damage and loss”.
Praise God I choose right that time! I pray that I always listen to God’s suggestions the first time!!