Message: In Acts 20 Paul was stopping at different places on his way to Jerusalem and saying goodbye to them all. There were several who heard warnings from the Holy Spirit about the sufferings Paul would go through. They begged him not to go but he had already resolved and accepted in his heart that he would suffer and even die for the name of Jesus. He knew what he was getting into and was firm in his decision to go.
Command: Listen to the council of godly people, and weigh it heavily, but your path is determined between you and God because only you know in your heart what kind of risks you have already accepted and are willing to walk through.
Promise: God will be with you anywhere you walk.
Warning: There will be trouble and hardship everywhere we go, don’t let the fear of those things determine where you will go.
Application: I struggled a little bit knowing that the people who warned Paul were full of the holy spirit and so was he, yet they were pulling in different directions. We always seem to believe there is only one “right way” to go, but truthfully, when we are walking with Jesus the “right path” has more to do with staying in tune with him and following his ways and his character than anything else. We will have all kinds of job opportunities and paths to choose throughout life. Each has it’s own set of challenges and hardships. We can’t view them as right or wrong based on what we go through. As long as we are not chasing after sin, we have the freedom to choose all kinds of paths. I’m sure Paul would have faced challenges anywhere he went, but in this case, he had already determined in his heart that he was willing to accept the challenges, hardships and even death. Where we get into trouble is when we assume that choosing “the right path” means that it will be an easier path or a trouble-free path, or that if God is really with us, we won’t go through hardships. If we haven’t already determined in our hearts that we are willing to accept whatever comes at us knowing that God is with us, we won’t do well on any path. The understanding that God being with us means his will is accomplished and he will comfort us and walk with us though hard things keeps us sustained and determined so we can confidently choose any path-as long as it is not a sin path.