In this final section to our study in Acts, I just want to ask you: What voice are you listening to in your life?
In the last few chapters in Acts Paul is in a shipwreck. The thing is there was a point in time where a choice was made, and if another choice had been made that shipwreck would not have happened.
We had lost a lot of time. The weather was becoming dangerous for sea travel because it was so late in the fall, and Paul spoke to the ship’s officers about it. “Men,” he said, “I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on- shipwreck, loss of cargo, and danger to our lives as well.” But the officer in charge of the prisoners listened more to the ship’s captain and the owner than to Paul. Acts 27:9-11
The thing is, it makes sense that the officer would listen to a ships captain and owner over the voice of a prisoner in his care. But there was a voice behind Paul’s that was being disregarded, and as a result the ship was lost.
We’ve learned so many lessons as we have explored Acts together, lessons in prayer, in trust, in obedience. We’ve recognized that although we may not always understand how God answers that we can still have joy and peace in them. We’ve seen how important each of us are as we are called by God. We’ve recognized that no matter what happens, He has an ultimate plan.
But the thing is, at every juncture of this process, we each have a choice. We can choose to submit in prayer, listening for His will, or try to find our own answers. We can choose to trust and obey, or take a course that, in the moment, makes more sense, we can choose God’s plan, or make our own.
So often our own plans will actually make more sense.
It takes a great amount of courage to follow God, it takes that courage because we so often have to give up a sense of control over our lives because we just don’t understand what is going on.
Maybe, in the end, that is exactly why He doesn’t tell us the plan.
Because if He did, we wouldn’t need faith in order to follow Him. If we understood the end game, we can be in control again, lord over our own destiny. Sure, we’ve lined it up with His goals, but we have a handle on things ourselves, we don’t feel like we need Him anymore.
And He knows that is a dangerous place to live.
We’ll always need Him, we can’t make it on our own.
So, out of His grace, He only tells us just so much, so that every day we must choose.
Choose to follow Him.
I mentioned in the beginning about how my pastor will talk about how Acts is a book without an ending, it is a recording of history, but its story isn’t over.
That is because Acts is our story.
The story of the Church of God, His Holy Bride.
We still have persecution. We still have people who must stand up and choose either their life or their faith.
We still are in a place where we are learning to pray and follow His leadership.
We are, each of us, still needing to get up every day and make a choice as to who we are going to listen to.
This story is yours, and it is mine.
I pray for you, my friend, that every day you can learn to listen to His voice just that little bit more, and the worlds less. Let us, together, learn to walk in prayer and submission, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment.
God bless you!
Joy Aletheia Stevens
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Share what God is showing you in your study time in the comments!