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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bound By the Spirit

"And now behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me." Acts 20:22-23

These were Paul's words to the men that he had discipled. They were afraid for him, because the Holy Spirit had warned them that Paul would be bound. Yet Paul's response was that he was already bound by the Spirit. His future was secure because he knew who was leading him. There are three reflections based on what Paul was saying that I want to share with you, and then let you know how this affects Jean and I as well.

First, none of who are followers of Jesus Christ is in charge of our future. When we make Jesus our Lord and master, we give Him control over our decisions, our actions, even our thoughts and beliefs. We recognize that God is sovereign and His knowledge and power are far greater than anything we can come up with on our own. Paul said that when he referred to being bound by the Spirit. He had to go to Jerusalem, there was something inside of him that made any alternative uncomfortable.

Second, we have no control over the outcome of our obedience. Paul knew that every town he went to he would face opposition, some more severe than others. But he did not let the possible outcomes stop him from fulfilling his mission. He was driven by a force that was more powerful than human reason and intellect. He constantly went into a hostile environment because he was sold out to his mission. We too, need to live our lives the same way.

Third, Whatever happens, just roll with it. Paul would go into a town and didn't know if it would be a quick passing through or if he would have to set up shop and stay there a few years. But he had no where else to be. His primary focus in ministry was the task that laid before him. That is how we need to live our lives as well.

As I reflected on this passage this week, I was struck by this thought. If we had known the obstacles we would have faced in Tucson thus far beforehand, could we have gone with such confidence? I knew we would face difficulty, but I thought things would be easier than this. Faced with this realization, I have come to the conclusion that I too am bound by the Spirit. I do not know what the future holds, nor do I know what the outcome will be of our move. All I can do is roll with it and whatever happens, its His will. I pray that you will come to a similar place in your life as well.

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