The Lord's Will be Done.

August 7, 2022 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Acts - The Gospel in Motion

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: Acts 21:1–14

Paul had expressed a determination to go to Jerusalem as far back as Acts 18:21. But he also expressed a recognition that great trials awaited him there. When he was first called by the Lord, it was said that he must be shown "how many things he must suffer for My name's sake" (Acts 9:16). And as he made his way to Jerusalem, Paul himself testified, "And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race, with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God" (20:22-24).

In this section of Acts, we see Pauls resolve as he travels from city to city, heading toward Jerusalem, and then he comes to the city of Caesarea where he meets up with Philip the evangelist and where he receives a prophesy concerning his heading to Jerusalem. The outline for this passage has been divided into three parts:

  1. The Sad Farewell (v. 1-3)
  2. The Warnings (v.4-12)
  3. The Response (v. 13-14)

After the warnings we see in v.4-12, Paul shows great determination in the face of an emotional plea from his own companions and the believers in Caesarea. This is not obstinacy, but obedience. He needed to obey the urging of the Holy Spirit, who is directing him personally to proceed to Jerusalem. If his going to Jerusalem results in his death, then that is the will of God for him and he is quite willing to face that.

We may not be called to die as martyrs for the Lord, but we are are called to be obedient to his will. All Christians should want to know God’s will for their lives. We want to know His will concerning major decisions, such as the career that we should pursue, the person that we should marry, and the place where we should live. We need His guidance on dozens of other daily decisions affecting our money, our time, and our relationships. If you know Christ as Savior and Lord, you want to please Him in every aspect of life by making wise decisions in line with His will.

Discussion Questions

  1. Is feeling a peace (or lack thereof) about something a valid factor in determining God’s will? (See 2 Cor. 2:12-14.)
  2. Do we need to seek God’s will for relatively minor decisions (what we wear for the day, etc.)? Why/why not?
  3. How can we know when to go against the counsel of godly people? What principles apply?
  4. Why is putting out a fleece (or asking for a sign) not a good practice when seeking God’s will?

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