“Sometimes we must read between the lines in the book of Acts to see Paul the man and not just his travels. Acts 23:11 offers a perfect opportunity to read between the lines without stretching the text…”Have courage!” (1)
“The following night, the Lord stood by him and said, “Have courage! For as you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” (Acts 23:11 HCSB)
Once again there were a group of men, more than 40, who were scheming to kill Paul. Actually scripture tells us that they put a curse on themselves and would not eat or drink until Paul was dead! (vs. 12) Aren’t you glad the Lord told Paul that he must go to Rome! As we read on in scripture someone tells Paul what these men are planning! YIKES… not again. But aren’t you also glad that Paul had an ear to hear the Lord?
“Why did Christ draw so physically close to Paul at this particular moment? I believe Paul was overcome with fear and may have been convinced he would not live much longer. He had looked straight into the eyes of rage. He was separated from his friends. He was imprisoned by strangers. I believe he was terrified.” (2)
“The Lord gave Paul motivation for courage by giving him confirmation: Paul was going to Rome.’ ‘Paul surely knew that Christ’s confirmation did not mean Paul wouldn’t suffer or be greatly persecuted. He simply knew he could not be killed until he had testified about Christ in Rome.’” (3)
Which is HUGE!!! Sometimes we feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit telling us to do something or not to do something. And sometimes those promptings keep reminding us over and over. What do you do with those times?
In Paul’s case he knew if the Lord had told him that he would be testifying in Rome about Him, then there’s no way Paul would be killed!! God orchestrated an escape for him and will provide the way for him to accomplish what He has asked him to do. Fear can sometimes try to sabotage us! But when we listen and understand carefully, we know that when the Lord puts something in our hearts … He will make a way where there may seem to be no way! The word I would use because we KNOW He will make it come about and our hearts AND minds agree in unison . . . PEACE!!!
If nothing else, this is a good example why we all should have our ear tuned to the Lord! For it is Him who leads us and guides us and in this case, for sure, protects us!!
What is He speaking to your heart today?
“My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.”
(John 10:27 HCSB)
(1-2) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith / Beth Moore / B & H Publishing