not what they do to me, but what He does through me
After several days of visiting, a prophet from Judea by the name of Agabus came down to see us. He went right up to Paul, took Paul’s belt, and, in a dramatic gesture, tied himself up, hands and feet. He said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: The Jews in Jerusalem are going to tie up the man who owns this belt just like this and hand him over to godless unbelievers.”
When we heard that, we and everyone there that day begged Paul not to be stubborn and persist in going to Jerusalem. But Paul wouldn’t budge: “Why all this hysteria? Why do you insist on making a scene and making it even harder for me? You’re looking at this backward. The issue in Jerusalem is not what they do to me, whether arrest or murder, but what the Master Jesus does through my obedience. Can’t you see that?”
We saw that we weren’t making even a dent in his resolve, and gave up. “It’s in God’s hands now,” we said. “Master, you handle it.” Acts 21:10-14 | MSG
“Sometimes standing against evil is more important than defeating it. The greatest heroes stand because it is right to do so, not because they believe they will walk away with their lives. Such selfless courage is a victory in itself.” ― N.D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire
Do you want to take more time? You can try reading through Paul’s story from Acts 21-28 “sightseeing” for points of courage. Or just reflect on this snippet. Sit with it a bit. Read it aloud. Pause. Listen. Write what you hear. Conclude your time today – and this week – with a time of silence. Breathe out fear, breathe in courage.
When most recently have you caught yourself “looking at it backward” when faced with a difficult choice? What helped you to see it straight? What happened?
Living God, I invite you to take hold of my life today for your purposes.
Please fill me with the Living Water of your Holy Spirit that as you pour me out:
my motives may be rooted in your Love,
my decisions may be rooted in your Wisdom,
and my actions may be rooted in your Courage.